Sink or Swim

Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Peter, bold and impetuous Peter. He is the only other human being besides Jesus who has walked on water. Not only was Peter the first to call Jesus the Son of God, but he also put his faith into action when he stepped out of the boat. 

None of the other disciples are said to have done or said anything. They watched in awe as Peter stepped over the gunnel and began to walk on water to Jesus.

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”

It may have been that the waves curled over his feet, or the wind began to push him off course to Jesus. Whatever distracted Peter, it drained whatever faith he had that had held him on the water. 

There is a sense of personal awe when we realize we are doing something in the Spirit and power of God. It is in those moments that the enemy fires his darts to get us to doubt, to fear, to question, or to be filled with self-righteousness and claim the glory for ourselves instead of wholly giving God the glory. 

What is the “but” in our life that has kept us from doing what God has called us to do?

I know many a God-called young man who has ran away from that call because of a “but” in their life. For some, it was fear. For others, inadequacy. Still, others could not break the bonds of past sins to grasp hold of the truth that God is Sovereign and can enable those whom He calls.

For all of us, questions will come, doubts will arise, and fear will undoubtedly creep in. What we do when it does will determine how successful we will be in the trial. There is no ‘safe place’ from the trying of our faith. James told us as much.

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Where Peter’s ‘but’ occurred when his faith diminished, James encourages us that when we enter into the trials that will assuredly come, we must allow patience to perfect us. Patience is that cheerful, or hopeful endurance, or constancy. Meaning, if God is good all the time, then, all the time, God is good. 

The God on the mountain is still God in the valley. The God of the day is still God in the night. Our faith needs to be the bridge over those times when doubt, fear, and unbelief to creep in. No one has ever always made the right decisions in faith. 

It is in the failure to trust, or the failure to obey that we find Him always faithful. Peter wasn’t left to drown because he had ‘little faith.’ He felt the hand of the Savior reach out in his time of need. He was drawn into the close presence of Jesus at a time when his faith caused him to sink.

Jesus was able to calm the storm that caused Peter to doubt. Jesus can do the same for us. It is the belief that God has ALL power to do as He said He would. 

Maybe God is asking you to leave your comfort zone to do something you see as insurmountable or impossible. God enables that which He commands us to do. That way, He gets the glory because others will see us doing something even they view as impossible. 

To that one running from the call of God – come home. You will never find greater peace or joy until you fulfill what God created and called you to do.

To the one sitting on the sidelines called to enter into HIs work, do not let fear, doubt, worry, or feelings of inadequacy hinder you from experiencing a greater joy than you have ever felt. 

Storms will rise. Trials will come. Hard times will come upon us. But, what we do when they come will determine whether we sink or swim.

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