The Difference Between Faith and Fear is FOCUS
“Shortly before dawn 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 14:25-29, NIV
Matthew shares the story of when Jesus sends the disciples out into a boat, and they come upon a storm. By this point, Jesus’ disciples had witnessed Him performing many miracles, including feeding the 5,000. Yet, they still lacked faith. Why did Jesus allow them to struggle?
Life can be downright tough. But think about this story. If Jesus had rescued the disciples right away, they might have forgotten to lean on Him and trust Him. They had just witnessed God’s amazing power feeding the 5,000, but they failed to apply the lessons they learned in this terrifying situation.
Are you in a storm? Maybe it’s a situation that seems hopeless and you feel like you are drowning.
1. When Peter changed, the situation changed
The difference between faith and fear is our FOCUS. What we focus on becomes magnified, especially when we face tough circumstances. Peter made the decision to leave the safety of the boat. He focused solely on Jesus. When Peter changed his mindset and fixated only on Jesus, his situation changed and he was able to do the IMPOSSIBLE – he was able to walk on water.
When Jesus comes into our lives and changes us – our situation begins to change.
2. Change begins with The Word
Think about Peter in that boat. When did the change happen? When did he step out of the boat and experience the miracle? When he heard Jesus speak, “Come!” When we are grounded in God’s Word, we will hear Him speak to us. That Word gives us POWER to overcome our obstacles. Memorizing and knowing God’s Word gives us comfort and strength. It helps ground us to remember what God has done and what He will continue to do.
Romans 10:17: “So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
3. Get fueled and fired up with FAITH
Jesus will sometimes allow us to go through storms to open our eyes to God’s power. As Peter walked towards Jesus, the waves and wind picked up. Peter lost his focus and began to sink. Yet, Jesus quickly scooped Peter up. We are all human, and at times, problems can get the best of us.
My dad loved jelly donuts. You don’t notice the jelly inside until it gets squeezed out. The same holds true with life. When we get “squeezed”, it can expose our lack of faith and doubt. Jesus wants us to get fueled and fired up with faith, allowing us to go through trials in order to see who He really is and experience His power. That can only happen when we let go and trust in Him.
Prayer: Father, please help us keep our focus on You. Increase our faith today, just as you did with Peter. If there is someone going through a storm right now, Father, I pray that you would wrap your loving arms around them, encourage them, and give them peace to let them know that You are right there with them in the storm. Lord, I boldly pray that you would move in their circumstance and that they would begin to see Your power. Open our eyes Lord to all of what You doing. Thank You that You are good. You are faithful and You do keep Your Promises. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.
I’m praying for you that God would bless and encourage you today!