Summary: Faith is exercised – we have to work at it. Peter – did he fail ** Look at 11 other disciples cowering in the boat**
***Credit is due to John Ortberg -- author of "If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat."
Also to Jeff Vines, teaching pastor for the outline
READ: Matthew 14:22-33
1. How do we see God?
What is your view of God?
Capricious God ** impulsive, unpredictable, changeable**
God of Love
God of Wrath ** Angry, vengeful -- Trust, faith, hope
Disciples were afraid – they thought Jesus was a ghost
Are you afraid of God?
Do you see no need for God?
Do you feel you are better going it alone?
You will continue to struggle through life until you face these issues
2. Emotions – Need vs Reality
Our emotions are unreliable
Fear of failure
Faith requires risking failure
Peter gets out of boat and SINKS!
People fail ** end of story**
Not end of story
Hands up if you have ever failed
Not picked for a team
Missed what would have been the winning or shot – or let the winning shot through
Failed an exam
Let someone down – parents or friend, teach, pastor, leader
Tried some task and you couldn’t complete it
If you have experienced some kind of failure, then you have the potential to be a ‘water walker’
Our emotions will hold us back -- understanding God will lead us to back to reality -- we will see things the way they and they way are supposed to be
3. Learn the Language of God
The Bible – God’s revealed word to us
Who God us, what he wants
Who we are, what we are supposed to be
ILLUSTRATION: William Wilberforce
C 18th & 19th MP in Great Britain
Became a Christian and campaigned against the human slave trade and for other moral reforms.
Faced rejection, ridicule, great opposition and even self doubt
In movie “Amazing Grace” about his life
He would walk around his estate and “talk to God” and “Think about God” and the mysteries of the universe
He Learned the Language of God until it impacted his conscience
Urging him to take on the issues facing Great Britain at the time
4. Deal with emotion blocks and Problems
Our emotions and problems often dictate how we will respond
Don’t let them stand in the way of obedience to Jesus
Deal with them – so you walk through the waves and meet Jesus face to face on the water
As we continue to read the story carefully, we realize that failure is an opportunity for a Christian to grow in their faith.
ILLUSTRATION: Jonas Salk
attempted 200 unsuccessful vaccines for polio before he came up with one that worked. Somebody asked, “How did it feel to fail 200 times trying to invent a vaccine for polio?”
This was his response: “I never failed 200 times at anything in my life. My family taught me never to use that word. I simply discovered 200 ways how not to make a vaccine for polio.”
Somebody asked Winston Churchill, "What most prepared you to lead Great Britain through World War II?" For a period of time, Great Britain stood virtually alone against Nazi Germany as it dominated the Western World.
This was Churchill’s response:
It was the time I repeated a class in grade school.
The questioner said, "You mean you flunked a grade?"
I never flunked in my life. I was given a second opportunity to get it right."