Pastor’s Pen: Walking by faith
By DUANE COSTELLO
Faith Fellowship Church
The bible tells us that we need to “walk by faith and not by sight.”
As a preacher myself I realize that “faith” is not something we do: faith allows us to “do.” Faith allows us to do the work of the Lord.
Biblical faith is trusting that what God’s Word says is true and we can live our lives according to the truths of the bible; even when at times we find it difficult. Faith means to have a firm persuasion that we can count on God’s Word. We act on the Word of God because our faith is based upon the Word of God and not upon ourselves.
In Matthew 14:22-33 we read the story of Jesus walking on the water. Jesus just got done feeding over 5,000 people with only two small fish and 5 small loaves of bread/cakes. A little boy gave up his lunch so Jesus could feed so many. Jesus then tells his disciples to get in a boat and go to the other side of the sea and wait for him while he sends the multitude of people home after just feeding them.
The disciples obey the Lord’s command and get in their boat and head for the other side of the sea. Jesus goes up into a mountain to pray to the Heavenly Father.
During the fourth watch of the night; somewhere between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. the disciples get sucked into a storm on the water. It’s a bad storm and they get scared. It is during this time that Jesus comes walking on the water towards the disciples. Jesus knew what was going on.
He is God in the flesh. Jesus came to His disciples; just like he comes to us today in our times of need.
The disciples are experienced fishermen and so if they are scared of perishing because of this storm, that means this is a big storm. They see Jesus and think it is some spirit out on the water.
Jesus knows they are afraid so he speaks to them and says, “Be of good cheer; it is I: be not afraid.”
Peter replies by saying to Jesus, “If it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” If it is you Lord then allow me to walk on the water.
Jesus says, “Come.” Peter gets out of his boat and starts to walk on the water! What a miracle! What faith Peter had at this moment.
As long as he kept his eyes on the Lord he was able to walk on the water. As long as he had a firm persuasion that he could believe the Lord’s words then he was alright.
But, the problem was that not too long after walking on the water the bible tells us that Peter started looking around at the water and after he realized that the wind was boisterous he started to take his eyes off from Jesus; and that caused his faith to waver and he then began to sink into the water.
In fact, Peter got so scared as he was sinking that he cried out to Jesus and said, “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached down to Peter and grabbed him by the hand and pulled him up to safety; next to Jesus.
Jesus then says to Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Peter’s faith enabled him to get out of his boat(life) and reach toward new heights. He was able to walk on water. But this only happened because Peter used his faith in knowing who Jesus was and trusting in who Jesus is in order to walk on the water.
We are often like Peter aren’t we? At times in our lives we demonstrate great faith in the Lord Jesus and we find ourselves giving to his work and serving him in our church and in our community.
But, just like Peter, we sometimes regress a little because we start to look at our surroundings and we start to think only in human terms and we start to lose our faith.
So, what’s the solution for us? Well, Peter’s life gives us the solution.
As long as our eyes are on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, we will have faith. Once our eyes start seeing only physical things and no longer looking through spiritual eyes, our faith lessons and we become physically weak just like Peter.
The bible tells us how to obtain the faith we need to live for God.
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The Word of God is what enables us to have faith and to grow in faith. God’s Word gives us power to have faith.
How’s your faith today?