“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (Jn 14:1)
Whenever a believer faces trouble, they have two ways that they can react; either they can be troubled, or they can trust. Trusting in Jesus is more than wanting or wishing. It is a secure confidence. It is how Jesus would define the word faith.
Most of us struggle with having faith whenever we are facing trouble. Trouble often comes like a raging storm that beats against the walls of our life until it eventually begins to break us down. Often we try to combat against trouble with telling ourselves to have faith. But in what are we to have faith? Faith that we will survive; faith that everything will be ok; or faith that God may want this to be the end? How can we have confidence and assurance unless we first know what it is that we should confidence and assurance in?
Consider your salvation. Are you confident that you are saved? Are you hoping, guessing, wishing, or are you fully persuaded that when you die, you will go to heaven? If you are confident, why are you confident? We are confident of our salvation because God has told us in advance His plan of salvation, and that if we accept it, we will be saved. (Jn 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9-10) When it comes to salvation, faith is a response, not a request. We did not invent the plan of salvation. We are not requesting God to accept our will; we are responding to His will that He has already revealed.
Could it be that one of the reasons we struggle so much in our faith is because we try to use our faith as a leverage to cause God to do our will? The greater our faith, the greater the leverage! But is that how God looks at faith? Consider how God worked in the lives of so many men and women in the Bible. Did God respond to their requests of faith, or did they respond by faith to God’s revelations?
Let’s close today’s devotional by taking a look at Peter’s walking on the water. Follow the sequence of events carefully and consider what role faith played in this story. I am eager to hear your comments.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-29)