“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come’ (Matthew 14:22-29).”
I heard You say it, I know You did
You called me out into the waves and wind
And for a moment I was brave and strong
But now everything is going wrong…
Christ calls His children to His purposes. How quickly are we at times, in the initial moment to echo Peter, ” ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water'” (Matthew 14:28). And when Christ says “Come” we jump to follow….
But I am realizing that real faith takes perseverance. Really believing the truths of God takes a real, down-to-earth faith that is willing to believe it’s God regardless of what things look like around us. When real faith doubts the natural realm, it remains steady in the God who rules the natural realm.
It seems easy to have faith when we can so vividly see the Lord at work in our lives, or in circumstances. But what about when sight and hearing and feeling all disappear and we’re left with nothing but aching emotion and raw circumstance? I believe this is when the trust test of exercising faith comes…Christ Himself says real faith becomes the evidence of things not seen. This statement itself clarifies we will not always see in the natural realm circumstances or situations that will naturally cause us to believe. But faith becomes real when we don’t see and yet turn to the promises of God and say yes, these are all “amen” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Sight is not faith, and hearing is not faith, neither is feeling faith; but believing when we neither see, hear, nor feel is faith; and everywhere the Bible tells us our salvation is to be by faith. Therefore we must believe before we feel, and often against our feelings, if we would honor God by our faith.
-Hannah Whitall Smith-
We honor Christ by our faith, because when we live faith we are saying, “Yes God, Your word is true. Yes God, you cannot lie.”
Where do we find the strength to trust, and have faith, when our world begin to crumble around us?
How weary our hearts can be, and how He knows this and longs to hear those deepest struggles and trials. There was a quote that I read years ago that came to mind recently:
“Trust me, my child,” He says.
“Trust me with a fuller abandon than you ever have before.
Trust me, as minute succeeds minute,
every day of your life, for as long as you live.
If you become conscious of anything hindering our relationship,
do not hurt me by turning away from me.
Draw all the closer to me, come, run to me.
Allow me to hide you, to protect you, even from yourself.
Tell me your deepest cares, your every trouble.
Trust me to keep my hand upon you. I will never leave you.
I will shape you, mold you and perfect you.
Do not fear, O child of my love, do not fear.
I love you.”
I think, as young women, we often over analyze things, grow anxious, and become tied in knots in our hearts via our emotions. I think one of the simplest things we can learn, and that I am learning, is to take each burden before the Lord in prayer, one by one. There is such a peace that comes over my soul even after just a little time of heartfelt prayer before my God.
Prayer is exercising faith.
Faith that God exists, and faith that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
We cannot “be still,” unless we “know that He is God.”
We were saved by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8). We cannot accept grace if we do not believe it exists. We cannot trust God if we do not believe He is who He says He is.
Neither can we accept the promises of God in His word as true, if we are unwilling to believe that when He says something, He means it.
We have these truths from His word:
God, our Abba, has blessed us in Christ with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places–even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. He chose us to what purpose? That in Christ, we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ…to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Christ, we have redemption….forgiveness…according to the riches of His grace, which He has lavished upon us. He set forth His eternal purpose and His will in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Christ (Ephesians 1).
How can we doubt this God who has given us so much?
God has given us His promises…and they are to be claimed by faith, through Christ. I am utterly amazed at the simplicity of it all, as I have experienced in my own life when I have claimed a promise by faith–faith given by my King–and faith that enables me to believe.
Faith that He’ll give me trust.
Faith that He is sovereign.
Faith that His Gospel is true everyday.
If I lose sight of the Gospel, I lose sight of a reason to live. But He is my reason to live.
By faith in Christ, I have found life, and life abundant.
Sisters, let’s approach Him with faith. We call God a liar too much through our doubt….we can read over and over in Scripture that He calls us to faith. But not just faith…persevering faith. A faith that is made real because of a Son who died that we might be so lavishly blessed by our God. A faith that really believes in the promises of God.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’ (Matthew 14:29-33).