Summary: This sermon challenges us to risk for God.
A story is told of Two hunters who came across a bear so big that they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other hid in a nearby cave. The bear was in no hurry to eat, so he sat down between the tree and the cave to reflect upon his good fortune. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, almost ran into the waiting bear, hesitated, and then dashed back in again. The same thing happened a second time. When he emerged for the third time, his companion in the tree frantically called out, “Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave till he leaves!” “Can’t,” panted Woody, “there’s another bear in there.”
Do you ever feel like the hunter in the cave? Like every time you turn around there is another problem just waiting for you. Like no matter what you do you just can’t escape from your troubles.
A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him and he asked his home office to hire a plane. Arrangements were made and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and they soon were in the air. “Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I’m going to take pictures,” cried the photographer. “I’m a photographer and photographers take pictures!” After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”
These two stories point problems and storms face all and lurk behind potentially every corner.
Throughout this month we have focused upon our personal life storms. Storms that rage and rob us of our peace and joy. Let’s once again revisit Matthew chapter 14 again beginning in verse but this time let’s focus upon Peter. Each of the disciples faced the same life threatening but only one disciple faced the storm with faith asking Jesus if he could walk on the water with him. Choosing to rise above the storm.
Would you once again turn with in your bibles to Matthew Chapter 14 beginning in verse 22.
In the midst of the storm Jesus personally teaches Peter several truths and in the midst of this passage we too find several truths we can apply to our lives so that we can rise above our own personal life storms.
First in the midst of our life storm we must respond to the call of God
The storm was raging ferociously around the small fishing vessel and by all appearances twelve men were about to be lost at sea. However, something marvelous and miraculous unexpectedly happened. Jesus approached the boat walking on the water. At first the disciples were frightened by his appearance, but Jesus comforts them by reassuring them that it is him.
When Peter realizes that it is Jesus not a ghost. He asks Jesus to command him to invite him to join him on the water. Walking on the water with Jesus- Rising above the storm. With that Jesus says basically come on. You can bet that Jesus was smiling. Instead of staying in the boat battling the storm Peter chose to climb out of the boat and walk with Jesus.
Right now in your life storm Choose to meet Jesus and rise above the storm. Stepping out of the storm and allowing Jesus to give you fresh perspective, but in order to gain that perspective we must have a faith that responds with action.
William Booth said, “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again -- until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other”
Like Peter, we must be willing to step out in faith when Christ calls us. The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see. In the midst of the storm respond in faith that Jesus is there and take the time to ask what you are to do to rise above the fray of