Roller coasters are fun to ride for many people. When we go to the California amusement park we find the line for the ride is lengthy. It seems a lot of people enjoy the thrill. However, in life we experience the roller coaster effect, and for that, we're not standing in line. We want things to be smooth and easy, sort of an even keel. But life doesn't always flow like that. There will be incidents that come to challenge our faith. And when that happens, we have a choice to make. Be fearful or stand in faith. It all depends at what we are looking.
In Matthew 15:22-33 we find one such occasion where fear was opposed to faith. In this situation, Jesus had instructed the disciples to enter a boat to cross the sea, whilst He went to pray upon the mountain. It seems when evening had come the boat, now in the middle of the sea, was being tossed by winds. At about three in the morning, Jesus joined the disciples by walking on the water to the boat. Now when they saw Him coming fear arose. This word 'fear' literally means terrified. They were so scared they began to shout, "It's a ghost!". But Jesus hearing them, calmed them by telling them, it was Him. Obviously they still weren't convinced, because Peter, one of the disciples, said, "Lord, if it's You, command me to come to You on the water". That's when Jesus said, "Come". Now this is where it gets real. So Peter hopped out of the boat and began to walk on the water towards Jesus. But he didn't keep his focus on the Lord, but began to look at how rough and windy it really was and he began to sink into the water.
Don't you know that's how it is with problems in our life. We're going along, it starts to get stormy. Maybe a paycheck gets lost, someone in our family has to be hospitalized, or perhaps we get into a big disagreement with a family member. Whatever the tempest, fear pops up to test our faith. Here's the big reveal, are we going to keep our eyes on the Word (Jesus), or are we going to look at our problem? Most generally we loose it and start acting and talking fear. We begin to 'sink' by trying to figure out how we're going to handle this situation. And the more we talk, the deeper we go.
The account of Jesus walking on the water, didn't end with Peter drowning. Peter cried out for help, saying, "Lord, save me!". It says 'Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him..". If we would liken this to our circumstance, we can cry out to Him and He will 'immediately' help us. But Jesus said to Peter, "O you of little (underdeveloped) faith, why did you doubt?"
Isn't that what's really happening in our life? We've become doubtful because we are lax in our faith. On the one hand we want to believe, but fear elevated makes us doubt. Rom. 10:17 says, "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." How faithful are we to attending church to hear the man or woman of God, that He sat into the church, preach the anointed Word? (Eph. 4:11-12) Or how regularly do we study the Bible for our self? (2 Tim. 2:15) Instead we continue to be moved by our circumstance. Up one day and down the next, just like riding the roller coaster. Sometimes, we're barely hanging on. Don't allow the fear to overtake you! Keep your eyes on Him and His Word. Phil. 4:6-7 (ERV) "Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.."
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."