Eyes Above the Waves
We’d all love to be able to say our faith can’t be shaken. But I, for one, am not too proud to see that it can happen.
Take the Apostle Peter for example. He saw Jesus walk on water and joined Him. Then, the waves distracted Peter. Fear took hold of him; he took his eyes off Jesus—and into the sea he went.
He even argued with Jesus about His coming crucifixion. To which Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.” (See Matthew 16)
Even still, Peter was an apostle and a devoted disciple of Christ—but not perfect by any means. He didn’t think it possible that he would ever deny his Savior. Even after Jesus’ prediction, Peter still denied Jesus three times. Right before Jesus’ crucifixion. Then the rooster crowed, just as Jesus said it would. Peter then wept and repented.
And fixed his eyes again on Jesus. This storm wasn’t on a sea. This was a storm raging for Peter’s perspective. For his soul. For his loyalty.
Did he deny his connection with Jesus?
Did he repent?
Was he forgiven?
We could talk about so many imperfect individuals in the New and Old Testaments who weren’t perfect. Ones that were proud. Ones that gave in to temptation. Thankfully, God doesn’t look to how we begin or even somewhere in the middle of the journey. He looks to how we finish.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1,2 NET
Jesus walks on water in that storm you’re in. Don’t look to the waves, friend. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.
Faith for the Imperfect
Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 NET
Without faith we can’t please God. That’s how much He desires us to trust Him. To put our faith securely in Him.
We all mess up, us humans. Even the most faithful, most upright, most righteous of us fail. Thankfully, God is JUST. He is ready and willing to forgive us of our sins and lack of belief. He is moved by repentance, ready and willing to forgive. He wants to throw our transgressions as far from us as possible.
He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
Psalm 103:10-13 NET
God is incredibly moved, when we humble ourselves. Yes, humility moves the heart of God.
If my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NET
Are you encouraged? Even if your faith is enduring a storm? I hope so, but even if you’re not encouraged yet, I think this should help: there’s good news for you—all you need is a mustard seed’s worth of faith to move mountains.
If you’re not sure if you have even that, remember. We can ask Him for more, like the man in Mark chapter 9 did. “I believe, help my unbelief,” he said. More on that in this post.
Remember, we’ve all been given a measure of faith. All of us.
For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith.
Romans 12:3 NET
But Without Love . . .
I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning love. And not just because it’s Valentine’s Day in a few days. No, it’s because of this: if we have faith to move mountains . . . but we don’t have love . . . then we are nothing.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1,2 NET
Nothing. Without love, we are nothing. No matter how much faith, no matter how many mountains we move. No matter how many kind acts we do . . .
So, not perfect? Friend, you’re in good company. Thankfully there is One who is, and He has so much love for you.
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NET
A Moment of Worship
Matthew 14:22-33, 1 Corinthians 13, James 4