How many of us had all the faith we needed when we accepted Christ and chose to follow Him at the time of that decision? What I’m getting at is this; Did we suddenly possess all the faith within ourselves to never fail or fall back to our own devices? The answer for me is a resounding no. My faith had to be built, as the old hymn, Solid Rock says. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”
At our rebirth we are all babies in need of growing and maturing. As soon as babies come from the womb we do not put them on the floor, feet first, and expect them to stand and then walk and run. So it is at our rebirth in believing and accepting Christ as Savior. As we begin to walk with Him, we may teeter and fall like a toddler taking first steps. When we fall, He picks us up and holds our hand until we steady ourselves to make more steps on solid ground. Our faith walk matures with each step we make with Jesus as we follow and obey Him as Lord of our lives…the One in charge.
Our faith is also built through tragedies, storms and upsets in the normal and begins to move forward the more we trust Him in all kinds of weather in life.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
THINK ABOUT IT…
The story of Peter’s faith is what is preached most often. But what I see today is Jesus using the storm to build their faith. This lesson was more about faith building, not just about the reprimand, but more about showing them Who He was. Look what happened AFTER the faith building experience of walking on water. They fell on their knees to worship Jesus. No longer impressed with Jesus, He is now their focus of worship!
Jesus’ disciples worshiped Him as God’s own son, “Truly you are the Son of God” as Peter and Jesus climb back into the rocking boat upon the rough seas. IMMEDIATELY, the winds of trouble calmed and died down. The work of God did not cease!
A lesson in faith believing was learned. With this lesson came follow up ministry, “Oh you of little faith”, but did he ditch the crew? Of course not! Sometimes we think when we fail in faith, the God of creation stops working and is so disgusted with us that He can no longer be with us. A million times no! Our God, whose love is unchanging, is still working on our faith. And He will continue to build our faith until Jesus comes back again.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6, The Message
Jesus, Peter, and the rest of the storm fighting, faith building crew of men GOT TO the other side of the sea. The mission to seek and save the lost and the ministry to heal the sick continued as if nothing had happened in the middle of the sea to a group of ragtag men.
Faith was built. God’s work moved forward.
Peter would fall or shrink in faith a few more times but Jesus kept working on Him and knew that He would be the “rock”, the beginning of His church, established after Jesus rose again.
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” –Jesus
Matthew 16:17 ESV
If our hearts are still beating, God is still building our faith.
Are we moving forward in faith believing?
In Jesus Name, Amen