WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Struggle”

Persevere And Don’t Give Up!

Spirit of Timid Climber

“Battles are fought in our minds every day. When we begin to feel the battle is just too difficult and want to give up, we must choose to resist negative thoughts and be determined to rise above our problems. We must decide that we’re not going to quit. When we’re bombarded with doubts and fears, we must take a stand and say: “I’ll never give up! God’s on my side. He loves me, and He’s helping me! I’m going to make it!” – Joyce Meyer

Colossians 1:11-12      “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

Perseverance with faith shall enable a person to overcome the greatest of difficulties.  A committed faith in His provision and protection will give you the endurance necessary to follow through on even the most challenging of circumstances. Without perseverance, it is impossible to finish the race God has for you to run.  He wants all of His children to make it past the finish line, so don’t let any snare from the enemy deceive and deter you.   Take all thoughts captive and ask the Holy Sprit to help you in discerning the discouraging lies of the enemy. 

It is through trials and hardships, testings and storms, that we gain our spiritual endurance. Sadly, many Christians are unable to maintain the necessary endurance to see Christ faithfully bring their trial to its rightful conclusion.  Perseverance requires a believer to stand on a faith that trusts in God’s goodness and love.  He will provide you with a supernatural strength that will see you through every problem you must face.  However, you must maintain your hope and patiently wait out any storm or trial He permits.

If you try to persevere through a struggle with only self-reliance and your own strength, you will not make it through without injury or complete failure.  God warns not to, “live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires.”  (Isaiah 50:11 ESV) Perseverance includes being still and letting God fight for you.  Patience accompanies perseverance, endurance, and faith.

Also remember that miracles still happen today.   You may even be blessed to witness one first hand, maybe YOU ARE the miracle.  God can heal people for His glory, bringing new believers into His fold.

It is very possible that God will use your personal trial to spur other believers on in their walk. God wants us to comfort other weary souls with the comfort we have experienced through Him.  If we don’t persevere in facing a storm, we could be setting a ripple affect into action and miss blessings from God.  All opportunities to serve are blessings.

 In addition, God is the same then, now, and in the future.  He performed many miracles in the times before and after Jesus walked the earth as the Son of Man.  He still performs miracles today, and uses some of His faithful servants to heal and restore in miraculous ways.  It requires perseverance to identify the gifts He has given us and to practice them for His purposes.  Stepping out in to do His work requires a persevering faith.

So if you are weary and feeling like you just can’t go another step, please don’t quit.  Persevere! Our path is uphill, to keep us from going down to the grave.  An uphill climb requires strength and perseverance if you eventually want to reach the summit of God.  You can climb any mountain with God who strengthens you.

“The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.”          Proverbs 15:24  (NAS)

“But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. 
This is the reward you will receive from me: 
 You will soon fall down in great torment.”                                Isaiah 50:11 (NLT)

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”  George Mueller

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

 

Man Worships God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8JJbDsHQOg

“Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” (Sung by the David Crowder Band)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.                                                                                    Praise Him oh creatures here below                                                                                            Praise Him above the heavenly hosts                                                                                            Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost                                                                                               Amen 

Deuteronomy 28:2 (NIV)      “All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God”

Dear Reader,

I love the old hymns, even when younger musicians write a newer rendition.  The words are gold and inspirational.  Songs of praise are a form of worship that God will not turn a deaf ear to or ignore.

Praising God in good times AND bad times shows a maturity in Christ.  Trusting that He has a purpose for those things in which we see as “bad” is called FAITH.  He works out our sanctification and transformation through struggles as it increases our perseverance, thus promoting maturity in our walk. 

Are you able to thank God for the very thing you cursed?  Can you see the wisdom and goodness that was birthed out of the trial you have suffered? Have you actually thanked God for the trial and the strength He provided, as it enabled you to be victorious for the glory of God and the sake of those witnessing your struggle?

The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy will continue on through eternity.  It is as fresh as the morning and as sure as the sunrise.  You can count on it… now and forever more.

Exalt Him in your heart today, even if you are facing a storm…. Will yourself to give Him the praise He deserves.  Things are not as dark as you think they are since He is in control and holding your hand as you walk through the difficulty you are facing.  He can do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or even think.  The struggles you face on earth are not worth comparing with the glory soon to be revealed in you once you reach your eternal home in heaven.

Romans 8:18 (I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 

2 Corinthians 4:17       “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 

Psalm 21: 3       
”For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.”

Ephesians 1: 3     
”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Lessons In Love And God’s Best For Us

Really Do Love You 

“Instead of allowing yourself to be unhappy, just let your love grow as God wants it to grow. Seek goodness in others. Love more persons more… love them more impersonally, more unselfishly, without thought of return. The return, never fear, will take care of itself. “    -Henry Drummond

Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)     “For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
 I will help you.”

God is our Father.  He holds our hand when we are struggling or afraid.  He cheers us on like a baby taking his first steps.  God loves us with an unconditional love and wants the very best for us.

So what is the “very best” for God’s adopted children?  Is it the same thing that God deemed best for His own Son?   Yes, at least to a certain measure.  Jesus died an unfathomably painful death on the cross.  There are some among us who also will suffer painful deaths like Jesus, just think of the Christians in China. 

However, most of us in America will not experience such a horrific experience.  And yet, we will ALL suffer some time in our lives.  If we endure in the name of Jesus, we will share in His glory.  If we maintain a Christian perspective and attitude in the midst of our personal grief and suffering, we could even win some souls to Christ.  By living our everyday life and living through personal storms with a Christian peace and hope, God will use our pain to touch others.  Our sufferings will be in His name. 

The very best for Jesus and God’s adopted children is found in lessons of unconditional love.  These love lessons are usually the most painful of lessons, but they also serve as the most meaningful.  We grow in the fruits of the spirit every time we walk through fire holding onto an attitude of Christian love and faith.

GOODNESS and KINDNESS live in the hearts of those who have suffered greatly, as the wounded tend to learn compassion through their misery.  GENTLENESS is born out of the adversity that has challenged a believer, but who has then released all hopes for vindication to the power of God.

PEACE is a fruit that grows from seeds of trust.  LOVE matures as we learn to give up pieces of ourselves for the benefit of others, knowing full well that every piece we loose is replaced by an even more wondrous portion of Christ.  JOY comes from knowing God and becomes our strength during trials. PATIENCE is learned through experiences of long-suffering and allows the saint to move forward while longing for his real home in heaven.  FAITHFULNESS means commitment. It is a sold-out attitude and stance that resonates a belief in God’s unquestionable ability to do the impossible.  Finally, the believer who suffers in the name of Christ for love’s sake, grows in SELF-CONTROL.  With this final fruit, the temptations of the devil lesson and loose their power.  We gain strength by gaining self-control.

What is best for the children of God?  I say that God’s very best for us involves lessons of love where suffering is involved.  Such lessons deepen our dependence on God and develop our perseverance and a maturity in Christ.  God helps us every step of the way and never abandons us.  The act of love means to think of others first, and for humans that is always painful.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

 

The Unique Ways and Thoughts Of God

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Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)      “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

“By regeneration and sanctification, by faith and prayer, by suffering and discipline, by the Word and the Spirit, the work goes on till the dream of God has been realized in the Christian heart.”      A. W. Toszer

Dear Reader,                                                                                                            The ways of God can often seem illogical to man.  But then, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  We dare not presume to understand His plan of action in our lives.  We can rest in knowing that He loves us and has plans to prosper and not to harm us.

Forget about dictating to God your ideas on how to get things done.  He has a plan for your life and has orchestrated a way to get it accomplished.  He does not need your help planning the journey or navigating the course.   He is sovereign, and He has His own way of working all things together for good.  However, what He does ask for is your obedience and trust. 

Your Father has the ability to take people’s evil intent and work it out for good, and for His glory.  God’s plans for you cannot be cast aside or dismantled.  Even in the face of overwhelming circumstances, His will and His plans cannot be thwarted.  His purposes will always be accomplished in His perfect timing.

The things that happen to you in this lifetime are all a part of His attempt to transform you into the image of His Son.  Nothing that happens to you is by chance, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.  His ways are higher than our ways.

Sometimes, God will take events and intervene to accomplish His purpose.  When God initiates circumstances, it is often to encourage the believer to build a deeper dependence upon Him.  God’s desire for His children is to be dependent upon Him.  Therefore, He wants to care for you.  He wants to put you in situations where you can witness Him do mighty works.  He desires your praise and will provide many opportunities in your life to acknowledge His power and strength.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV)       “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

CONFUSION IS NOT OF THE LORD!!

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Dear Reader,

I had a little extra time today, so I am REPOSTING this article on confusion.  I hope it serves to encourage you.

I Corinthians 14:33       “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace… “

There are times in a Christian walk when confusion attacks and leaves a believer frozen in his tracks.  The questions in his mind seem to turn into a demonic cloud of smoke, blinding all vision and understanding.  Thus, progress in his journey comes to a complete stand still.

The Word of God warns us to be wise to the enemy and his schemes.  Matthew 10:16  informs us that we are living among wolves and are to be as shrewd as snakes, while maintaining our innocence.

If you are experiencing confusion in your prayer life it is one of two things.  It could be that satan is harassing you and attacking.  This will often occur when a saint make some kind of progress in taking back ground from the evil one.  Confusion is not of the Lord and so you need to dress yourself in the armor of Christ and sharpen your sword, which is of course the Living Word. 

The Bible promises us that if we submit to God and resist the devil, the evil one must flee from our very presence.  We are in a battle down here and we cannot be complacent while on our daily path. 

We are soldiers in the army of Christ.  We need to exercise our spiritual muscles and increase our strength by leaning more and more on our Savior’s provisions and grace.  The Holy Spirit is quiet in nature but faithful to pinch us if we are in danger, or in need of instruction.  Trust your discernment and practice it.

There is another reason why you might be confused.  Is it be possible that you are expecting God’s answer to your prayers to be exactly how you expect and want them to be?  Remember, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  His ways are so much higher than ours.  So once again, could it be that since the prayers you have offered are seemingly unanswered, you are confused?  Is it that you are not allowing God to answer them in HIS time and in HIS way?  If this is the case you need to ask for the ability to trust and be patient.

The Lord is the MASTER TEACHER and we are His STUDENTS.  When He sees our heads tilted to the side and the “Huh?” in our glance, He will be faithful to reteach His lessons.

Today His lesson was all about how a believer is to identify confusion and deal with it.  Prayer and scripture is always the best way to overcome the schemes of the enemy.  Take heart and do not hesitate to cry out to God when confusion strikes.

JAMES 4:7      “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

MATTHEW 10:16        “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

1 PETER 5:8     “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

“No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it.” Guy H. King

Do You Need A Giggle? A Test Of Obedience.

Silly Me
Mind you, this is EARLY in the morning and I only had 5 hours of sleep……

Job 36:11      ”If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness and joy.”

Dear Reader,

Lately it seems like God is sending me a lot of tests. I think He is checking to see if I love Him enough to be a fool for Him. As of late, obedience and trust have been big life lessons. However, today may just be a lesson on submission.

My friends all know that I tend to be pretty serious. However, they also know I have a weird, sometimes even bizarre sense of humor. I was at my nanny job this morning (with 2 lattes down my belt) and my ward was in the BR. I was bored. I decided to play with my iPhone. These pictures were the outcome.

You ask, “Cheryl, what on earth are these crazy photos doing on your blog??” My purpose in sharing these ridiculous photos is to simply make you smile, giggle, and laugh. I will play the fool to make you grin. I have grown in confidence since my early years. If your day starts to sour, think about silly me. Hopefully, the giggle you get from this post will carry you through the day.

ARE YOU WILLING TO BE A FOOL FOR CHRIST? WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO HELP ANOTHER PERSON? ARE YOU FEARFUL OF MAN?

God tested Abraham over and over. He tested Noah and Moses. He tests me and He will test you to see if you are faithful, obedient, loving, and able to trust in His provision.

Obey-Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively; by implication to head or conform to a command or authority. The word conveys the idea of ACTIVELY following a command. In other words….. there is no choice in the matter. The request is to be done whether you agree with it or not. Obedience is not involuntary.

Submit- Greek “hupeiko” which means to yield; to passively surrender to an authority. Submission is like obedience but in in this case one might question what is being commanded. Submission is voluntary.

Philemon 1:7         “For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”

Proverbs 29:25 (AKJV)    “The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”

Weird Me

The Potter and His Clay

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Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NIV)       “This is the Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the Word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, Israel.

Dear Reader

God creates beautiful things.  We are a wondrous creation as we are made in the very image of Christ.  Sadly, many of us look at our refection in the mirror and are horrified when we see who is looking back. 

The Word of God tells us that He knew us in our mother’s womb.  God knit us together and our frame was not hidden from Him.  He imagined, formed, molded, and uniquely designed each one of us.  We are the masterpieces of the one and only living God. 

So why would God, our Potter, need to reshape us?   Psalm 139 says that all of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. The answer is sin.  Sin mars us and rebellion deforms us. 

Thankfully, God loves His creation so much that He will not give up on us.  He will never throw away the clay resting between His hands.  Rather, His hands will reshape our very being time and time again, in order to remove our sin and rid us of our imperfections. 

He may have to remold some of us several times until WE get things right, and He is satisfied with His workmanship.  He does not like blemishes and will remove them in any way He sees fit.  It is not the creations place to question its Creator.  The number of times the Potter must reshape us will depend on our willingness to accept His will and the path He has laid before us.

Remember that when God looks at you, He sees you as you WILL BE.  He knows of your sins and that is why He is taking time to refashion you into something beautiful and useful. He is always looking through Spiritual glasses.

If God has asked you to do something or is leading you into a certain ministry, check your attitude.  Has He asked you to travel down a path full of danger or grief?  If so, the hardships you experience will only be temporary and they really are serving a purpose. 

With that said, it is with a thankful heart that you should accept and receive His encouragement and leading.  Don’t turn a deaf ear to His voice. If you are hesitating and ignoring the prompts of the Holy Spirit, watch out!  Be prepared for the Potter’s hands and another attempt to reshape you.  God’s purpose will always prevail. 

Take comfort in this:  Not only is God your “Potter,” He is also your Father.  And as a Father cares for His child, so He cares for you. Patiently, He will stay by your side and work out your imperfections and blemishes.

Clay cannot mold itself.  It takes the vision and the hands of one far greater to make something of it.  With this said, clay must submit to the will of the Potter.  After submission is offered up as an acceptable sacrifice, trust must follow.  Yes, you must trust that He is faithful to finish the work that He has begun in you, and that He makes all things beautiful in His time. Trust Him.  He is faithful.

Romans 9:20-21 (NIV)      “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did You make me like this?’  “Does not the Potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)      “ For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

There Is A Crack In Everyone

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“There’s a crack in everything-that’s how the light get in.”    –  Leonard Cohen

John 12:24 (ESV)      “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)      “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Dear Reader,

When you have a broken heart, the crack within will allow the healing power of God to enter, transform, advise, and heal it.  You are never going to be crushed beyond repair. The Great Physician will bind up your wounds and bring you miraculous healing, in His time. 

Everyone in this world experiences trials, grief, and hardships.  This is a reality of life and nobody is excluded.  Struggles are sent our way by God to get our attention, teach us lessons, develop perseverance, and build our relationship with Him.  With free will, we have a choice to lean on Him during these times, or attempt to stand on our own.  I guarantee that things will be a lot easier if you ask God to help you out. 

If you are feeling broken right now, remember that He promises to be close to you.  He will save those of you who are crushed in spirit.  He does not abandon you during your time of need.  You are never alone, even when you FEEL that you are. 

He is omnipresent and sees all.  He is omniscient and knows all, including how best to help you.  God is also omnipotent and all-powerful.  He is mighty and strong beyond your imagination. 

Trust and faith must carry you through your struggle.  In John 12:24, the Word gives us an understanding as to WHY each person must break, or die to self.  It is only in dying that we can sow seeds, which will in the proper season bear fruit.  He will give you the grace and mercy needed to accomplish whatever He is asking of you.

By keeping your eyes on your Savior and not your circumstances, you will be able to face each day.  Our God warns us not to look too far into the future for it will overwhelm us.  Each day carries enough worries and woes.  Decide to listen to His voice daily and ask Him what He wants you to learn.  Meditate on the lesson(s) your hardship is teaching you and strive to apply it to your life.  Make it a personal goal to bless others with the wisdom you have gained by walking through your trial.

Sadly, if we do not learn the lessons God has prepared for us, other circumstances will present themselves.  He loves us enough not to leave us in kindergarten.  He wants us to move up to first grade, and all the way through college…. And even beyond.

 If one storm setting is not breaking your will or sin habit, He will design another storm to once again present the lesson He wants you to grasp.  He loves the remedial student as much as the A+ student.  He has no “teacher’s pet” for we are all equal in His eyes.  It is simply a matter of how quickly you want to get through school.  There are more responsibilities required of those who have moved past grade school, but there are also greater riches to be gained through spiritual maturity.

When you have a broken bone in your body, and it is not properly “set,” doctors may have to break the bone again in order to align and heal it.  If a broken leg bone is not set properly, mobility will be hindered leaving the wounded a cripple.  Think about this regarding your spirituality. Refusing to submit to the will of God will expose you to more storms and broken hearts.  Thankfully, God heals completely and will never choose to leave you a spiritual “cripple.” Your obedience will determine your gait and spiritual health.

When you die to self and accept His will in your life, you will discover your brokenness has allowed you to learn and grow in the fruits of the Spirit.  May goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, love, joy, patience, faithfulness, and self-control be your reward for bravely facing your struggle.  He wants only good things for His children.  He gives good gifts.  Change your perspective and look on your brokenness as a thing of beauty.  For God says that when we are weak, He is strong.

Psalm 147:3 (ESV)   “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Ten Thousand Reasons To Bless the Lord by Matt Redman

Psalms 100:4      Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

Dear Reader,
I am feeling led to extend the concept of blessing our God with some thoughts about our need to worship Him. First, let’s define worship as, “the feeling or expression of reverence and the adoration for a deity”

We as believers are thankful for the salvation we find through the Son of God and in His ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. With an inexplicable love, God sent His only Son to die a horrible death so that we may be redeemed and called His adopted children. For this incredible act of mercy and love we should be in a constant state of worship, praise, and thanks.

There are many ways for us to express our reverence and adoration for Him. To start, a thankful heart will often spur a believer into a state of gratitude, which can then turn into a song of praise. Music and song is a great way for us to show our love for God. Praise means, “to commend, to applaud or magnify.” For the Christian, praising God is an expression of worship. By lifting Him up, we glorify and edify Him. By focusing our complete attention on the Father, we bless Him.

An act of service is also an act of worship, praise, and thanks. The Word tells us to comfort others with the comfort that we ourselves have been given. When we obediently follow God’s leading to serve and help others, we are submitting to His divine will. It is not just the act of serving but our obedience and submission that blesses the Lord. To honor and exalt Him is worship and we can do it through praise, submission, service, obedience, and acts of devotion and kindness.

God does not have to have our worship, but we must worship Him in order to please and bless Him. Worship brings us closer to God. The Bible says that, “God inhabits in the praises of His people.” (Psalms 22:3) This makes me think that He “dwells” in the atmosphere of our praises for Him. This is communion with God. As we draw near to Him, He in turn draws near to us.

When we choose to act on our desire to selflessly worship, bless, and praise our Creator, it should cause us to reflect on His power and majesty. These acts should also cause us to think more like Him. A heavenly perspective that is lived out in daily life is another way we can worship our God.

The Bible tells us that we can come BOLDLY to the throne of God with our petitions and requests. However, worship demands a contrite and humble heart of submission. Psalm 51:17 reminds us that the “sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” It is only with a pure heart, humbled by the sacrifice and love of the Father and Son, that our worship attempts will be an acceptable offering to our Father.

So, even on the dark and difficult path you are presently enduring, you need to thank Him. At all times, you need to look up and BELIEVE in His goodness and kindness. You may not understand the “whys” of your trial but that does not matter. It is by faith you were saved and it is by faith that you must trust your situations to God. Set down your burdens today and make time to thank Him. Choose to bless His name even though you don’t feel like it. Decide to trust in His goodness and praise Him. This will be a sacrifice of worship pleasing onto God, like sweet smelling incense before His throne.

Exodus 23:25 (NIV)       Worship the LORD your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you

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Keep Your Eyes On Jesus And Not On Your Circumstances

Jesus:Peter Walk Water

“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.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:28:31

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“Look into My eyes and you’ll find Me.  Look into My heart and you’ll find you.” Anonymous 

Dear Reader,

Do you wonder why this story made it into the Bible?  I believe that our Creator has selected each word, and story for His blessed instruction manual.  He instructs us as well as warns and encourages us through all of the pages of His Word 

So here is Peter.  He has faith enough to cry out to Jesus and to get out of the boat.  That act alone took a great measure of faith and courage!  There are a few moments when he is actually walking on the water to Christ.  Then, he starts to sink.  Fear steps in when the wind of the storm gets his attention.  With his eyes off Christ, he starts to sink.

Jesus reaches out to Peter when he cries out, “Lord, Save me!”  Our Lord will ALWAYS reach out for His children when we ask to be saved.  His compassion is endless.Upon reaching the boat, Jesus rebuked Peter for his lack of faith.  Doubt in the abilities of Christ to keep him safe from the storm was Peter’s undoing. By taking his eyes off Christ and setting them on his surrounding circumstances, he allowed disaster to strike. 

So now, what circumstances in your life have caused you to take your eyes off God?  Did you start out like Peter, trusting Him to take care of you?  Did you walk for some time in your personal storm with Christ?  Were you surprised and amazed at the progress you were making in such a challenging and dangerous journey?  How long were your eyes fixed on Jesus and not the swirling waves around you?  Why did your eyes leave the assurance and love of your Master?  What made you look away?

If you are in a storm right now, this story should encourage, instruct, guide, and possibly rebuke you.  Do not be like Peter.  Keep your eyes fixed on your Savior and not your circumstances.  He will see you through the toughest and scariest of storms.  You have a purpose.  He has a plan for you.  Let the storm serve to deepen your faith and do not doubt that He holds you in the palm of His hand.  He is your strength and your shield.  Let the storms come.  You have nothing to fear.  Just keep looking into His loving eyes and you will be safe.

There is a PS

IF you have taken your eyes off Christ and you feel yourself slipping into the sea of despair, cry out to the Lord.  Just as Jesus saved Peter from a watery grave, He will save you too.  God had plans for Peter so death was not even an option that stormy night.  He has plans for you too.  So, put your focus back on Christ and cry out to Him.  You will find yourself placed back in the safety of your boat and He will calm your storm with these two simple words, “Be still.”   

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   Matthew 19:26 (EVS)

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