Volume: 815 June 21, 2021
Like most of us, there was a time when Peter’s faith was stronger than at other times. Peter found himself in a boat with vehement winds and threatening waves all around him. The craft was tossed helplessly by the powerful sea when he and the other disciples saw a most unusual, unbelievable sight. They saw Jesus walk toward them, and He was walking on top of the waves!
After talking with Jesus, Peter was summoned to the Saviour’s side. Without question, the disciple stepped out of the boat and joined Jesus, also walking on the water! However, Peter’s victory over all normal laws of nature did not last long. When he looked around, he felt the hard-blowing winds and saw the boisterous waves. He became afraid and sank. His lack of faith changed what was happening in his life.
So many Christians start out their Christian walk similarly as did Peter when he jumped out of the boat. When they get saved and see the wondrous changes that the Lord has accomplished in their lives, their zeal is great. They get involved in a ministry. Faithfully, they attend church, read their Bible, and converse daily with God in prayer. However, something happens to dull the excitement and fervor of their serving God. Perhaps it was an unkind word uttered by another or a question that they may be doing too much. Maybe looking around they saw others were not going on church-wide visitation as they were, or they saw that many lived differently most of the week than they did on Sunday. No matter what got them to question what they were doing for the Lord, they fell the same way Peter did; they looked around and their faith was weakened.
When anyone looks around and sees only what the natural man sees, he will be discouraged and have his faith challenged. Looking toward a pastor or leader in a church may be a better example than most have, but that leader is made of the same flesh that you and I are made. There may be a time that he may let you down. Following the example of another godly person may also be a bright light to follow but that person can make mistakes, and there may be a day that he will also disappoint you.
The only one that is perfect and cannot let you down is Jesus. Do what Peter did for a short time, keep your eye on God. Look and lean on Him. Do not look around, compare, and criticize what others are doing. We may all let you down one day because we are no more perfect than you. Look above. The Lord will never leave nor forsake you, nor let you down.
“Wrinkled by life? Look to God for a faith lift!”
A Dirty Telescope
The astronomer is careful to have his telescope lenses clean and free from all dust. The smallest speck of dust might affect an object’s appearance. It will look different than it really is.
So should a Christian be careful to have their faith wiped clean of all the dust of doubts and unbelief, lest they should behold the truths of God imperfectly and come to an incorrect judgment. Without faith to guide and direct them, things will look different than they are or could be.
“If you have no joy, there has to be a leak in your faith somewhere.” — H. Beecher
One day, Richard went into a room where his little girl was, bright-eyed and happy as she could be. Somebody had just given her a box of exquisite wooden beads.
The little child ran to her papa immediately to show her gift. “They are very beautiful, my child,” he said, “but now, my dear, throw them into the fire.” The little girl looked for a moment. It was a great trial. “Now, I shall not compel you to do it. I leave it to you, but you never knew papa to ask you to do a thing that was not kind to you. I cannot tell you why, but can you trust me to do so?”
It cost a great effort, but the little child began in her way to think, “Father has always been kind to me. I suppose it is alright,” and she took the box and threw it into the fire.
The father said no more for some time. However, the next day, he presented her with something far more beautiful and which she had long desired. “Now,” said he, “my child, I did this to teach you to trust in the greater Father in Heaven. Many a time in your life, He will require you to give up and to avoid what you cannot see or understand. If you trust your Father in Heaven as you have trusted me, you will always find it best.”
“The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” — George Muller
Jumping into Father’s Arms
D. L. Moody
It was a beautiful evening, and just before the meeting, some neighbors and myself were sitting on the front piazza enjoying the evening. One of the neighbors put one of his children upon a ledge eight feet high, put out his hands, and told him to jump. Without the slightest hesitation, the child sprang into his father’s arms. Another child was lifted, and he, too, readily leaped into the arms of his father. He picked up another boy, larger than the others, and held out his arms, but he wouldn’t jump. He cried and screamed to be taken down. The man begged the boy to jump, but it was of no use. The lad couldn’t be induced to jump.
The incident made me curious, and I stepped up to him and asked, “How was it that those two little fellows jumped so readily into your arms, and the other boy wouldn’t?”
“Why,” said the man, “those two boys are my children, and the other boy isn’t. He doesn’t know me.” This is why so many will not follow God’s commands; God is not their spiritual “Father.”
“Part-time faith, like part-time jobs, can’t support you!”
The Reflecting Waters
When the water of a gently flowing river is unruffled and clear, it reflects the floating clouds above and any objects overhead — flying birds, swaying trees, and on-looking scenery. When the water is stirred and agitated, it becomes opaque and loses its power of reflection.
The faith of Christians is often similar. When all is going well, and there are no trials, how strong and beautiful are their reflections of the things of God. When deadened by the world’s influence or corrupted by sin, the clearness and holiness of their example disappears. Their lifestyle and testimony no longer reflect the spiritual things of God.
T. H. Milner
The Word of God tells distinctly what sort of faith dead faith is:
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26
That which is dead is inactive, inoperative, unproductive, and fruitless. If your faith is not producing spiritual fruits, trusting Him for all, and regularly pointing others to God, your faith is dead or quickly heading that way.
“One does not believe one who does not live their belief!”
Christ, Our Guide
C. H. Spurgeon
When Mr. Andrew Fuller was going to preach before an association, he rode to the meeting on his horse. There had been a good deal of rain, and the rivers were very much swollen. He got to one river which he had to cross. He looked at it, and he was afraid of the strong current, as he did not know the water’s depth. A farmer, who was standing by, said, “It is okay, Mr. Fuller; you will get through it all right, sir. The horse will keep its feet.”
Mr. Fuller went in, and the water got up to the girth and then up to the saddle, and he got uncomfortably wet. Mr. Fuller thought he had better turn round, and he was going to do so when the same farmer shouted, “Go on, Mr. Fuller. I know it is all right.”
Then Mr. Fuller said, “Then I will go on. I will go by faith.” He made it safely to the other side.
Now, sinner, it is very like that with you. You think that your sins are too deep, that Christ can never carry you over them, but I say to you, it is all right, sinner. Trust Jesus, and he will take you through Hell itself if it were needful and possible. If you had all the sins of all the men who have ever lived, and they were all yours, if you could trust him, Jesus Christ would carry you through the current of all that sin. It is all right, man! Only trust Christ. The river may be deep, but Christ’s love is deeper. It is all right, man! Do not let the devil make you doubt my Lord and Master. Satan is a liar from the beginning and the father of lies, but my Master is faithful. Rest on him, and it is all right. You will make it safely to the other side.
“Would there be enough evidence to convince a jury that you are a Christian?”