Summary: In the midst of life’s storms, it takes faith to walk upon the crests of the waves.
Hope Floats, but Faith Walks
Background Text: Matthew 14:22-33
A. Location affects perception
- When in the midst of a crisis, we are not only influenced by our own emotion, but by the
emotion and perception of others. (“Boy I’d hate to be in your shoes” “What are you
going to do?” “It must stink to be you” )
- Seperation from our comfort zone creates anxiety
B. When things are at their worst, begin to look for Jesus in the midst of the storm.
- You may not always recognize the movement of God at first
- It is normal to experience fear of the unknown/unsure
- When the fear strikes, cry out to God (prayer, searching the scriptures)
-Jesus will answer
-offering courage and hope
C. Respond to God’s instruction
- Fear must be subdued
-Fear of failure
-Fear of peer ridicule
-Groundless, Cowardly fear in the face of life’ s challenges is simply deadly:
-It paralyzes us and renders us unable to function, we can’t eat, sleep, work, think
- It demoralizes us and makes us want to run and hide.
-It prevents us from stepping into new ventures of living, attempting new things for the
Lord, and trying new services for our fellow men.
- You may be the only one willing to get out of the boat
-Do not let others hold you back from what the Lord is commanding you to do.
-What the Lord commands you, may not be his will for others in you life at
-The first step is always the hardest
-Often preceeded by a “say what” response
D. Stay focused on God
-Distractions lead to trouble (The waves kept crashing, the bills keep coming in, etc....)
-Don’t let human logic battle your faith (“People don’t walk on water”)
-Human logic used to declare:
-Tomatoes were feared and considered poisonous
-Bicycles were once thought to be an invention of the devil
-Taking a bath was once considered to be a sure way to lunacy
-Deviation comes from a lack of attention
-Anytime we take our eyes off Jesus and put them on anything else we will begin to
-Circumstances may deceive, overwhelm, and frighten us
-The advice of others who have no foundation of Christian faith may cause
us to sink
- Our own rationale and opinions can lead us astray when they conflict with
- Our own emotions can lie to us and make us feel like we’re about to drown
E. When you begin to sink
-Don’t depend on your own abilities or the abilities of other men
- Cry out to the Lord and put yourself at his mercy
-Peter cried “Save Me!”
- Fix your eyes on Jesus again
-Puts things back in perspective. Jesus wasn’t sinking! Jesus was in no dither or panic!
Jesus wasn’t in trouble. Jesus was still there!
- Jesus will never desert us in the midst of the storm! He will never leave us to sink into
the circumstances! He will never abandon us to our own resources as long as we look
to Him in faith.
F. Key points
-Peter looked up, saw Jesus and cried out to him
- A simple prayer, “Save Me”
- A fervent, passionate, eager prayer, Peter needed hlep and he needed it now!
- A humble prayer, Peter knew that without Jesus he’d be lost and could not save himself
- Immediately Jesus acted!
- Now, sometimes He says, “No!” sometimes He dtermines that we need to wait!
- When the need is immediate, He is immediate in His reply and action
- Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter!
- He didn’t wait for Peter to dog-paddle to where He was!
- He didn’t allow Peter to cling tenaciously to Him, He held on to Peter! - Jesus escorted Peter back to the boat and safety. He doesn’t just point the way, He is the way!