Of all those mentioned in the New Testament I admire Paul more than anyone other than Jesus, but I identify more with Peter. Why Peter? Because here’s a man with a severe case of “foot-in-mouth” disease who God made into someone mightily used for the Gospel. In a moment of revelation, Peter boldly proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Later, in the crisis of the moment, this same brash fisherman turned fisher of men denies even knowing Jesus at all. How quickly faith can move to fear in times of crisis, when the storms of life come crashing down.
In Matthew 14:22-33 we see the account of Jesus coming to the disciples by night, walking on the water. Peter, in a display of faith, said, “Lord, if that’s You walking on the water, have me come join you (my paraphrase)”. Jesus responded with an answer that both convinced and challenged Peter: “Come.” On that basis Peter stepped out of the boat and began walking on the water. Yes, Peter got his eyes on the wind, became afraid, and began to sink; however before there’s any criticism of Peter, when’s the last time anyone you know walked on water?
In an instant Peter went from faith to fear. To Peter’s credit he got back into faith, with a helping hand from Jesus. The two then walked back to the boat. Jesus didn’t carry him; Peter walked. Like a lot of folks, Peter needed a helping hand to get from fear back to faith, where he eventually spent the last years of his life-living a life of faith.
Maybe you’ve stepped out in faith, for healing, finances, restoration of a broken relationship, or finding your place in life. When the “winds” of adversity came, did you get your eyes off of what God said and, in fear, start to “sink”? Who did God send to reach out a helping hand to get you back in faith? I’ve had a lot of helping hands in my life to help me in my faith walk. Now, I have the privilege of helping others to get rooted, built up, and established in their faith, in Christ. I’ve been blessed to be a blessing.
How about you? Are you comfortable walking on “water”, always in faith, or have there been times where looking at the “winds” distracted you from your walk? Disciplining ourselves to stay focused on God’s Word will help us walk by faith, as Peter eventually did. Remember, the winds didn’t stop Peter; it was fear. Returning to the boat in faith was accomplished despite the winds.
What part of this post can you relate to? Are you currently on the receiving or giving end of the helping hand of faith?