A Sinking Saint in the Midst of a Storm (Peter’s Brief Walk on the Water)

Do you ever have the feeling that you are sinking deeper and deeper into the sea of sin, doubt, despair and discouragement?  Do you feel that you are in the midst of a storm and there is no end in sight?  The Apostle Peter understood the storms of life.  He also experienced sinking deeper and deeper into the sea.  Let’s join Peter and see how he handled his sinking deeper and deeper into the sea.

The disciples are in a boat in the midst of a storm.  Jesus comes to them, walking upon the water.  He tells them: “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. (Matthew 14:27)  Jesus always desires to calm our fears even in the midst of the greatest storm in our lives.

Peter asks the Lord if he also could walk on the water.  Jesus answers with one word: “Come“.  Jesus wants us to join him in the adventure of faith.  Peter enters into the water, and he begins to walk on the water; however, the scriptures say: But when he saw the wind boisterous; he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried , he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30

 What are some causes of Christians sinking spiritually in the midst of the storm?

1. Sin causes us to sink spiritually.  Peter could have thought; “Look at me, I am walking on the water.  What is wrong with those others?”  Peter’s pride could have caused him to sink.  When sin enters into our lives, we are no longer secure in our walk with Christ.  We let go of His guiding hand; so that we may go in our own direction.  There is nothing but danger when we walk separate from Jesus.

2. A lack of faith causes us to sink spiritually.  After Jesus delivers Peter from the sea, He says: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:31)  Peter sees the waves and the winds and decides that they have greater power than Christ.  Often, we allow our doubts to destroy our faith.  As a result, we soon sink into discouragement and despair.

3. Difficult circumstances cause us to sink spiritually.  Peter has begun his great adventure in faith, but he sees the wind and the waves.  They are terrifying, and he feels as though he has no hope.  Difficult circumstances make us forget that GOD IS IN CONTROL.  He is the Master Potter and we are the clay.

4. Wrong priorities cause us to sink spiritually.  Peter begins well.  He leaves the boat and heads for the Lord.  However, he becomes preoccupied with the wind and the waves.  We have all experienced times in our lives, when we put our relationship with Lord on the back burner of life.  We know that He is with us, but we become preoccupied with other things in this life.  Wrong priorities lead us on a dangerous pathway away from our Lord.

The Cry of the Sinking Believer

Peter sees that he is in a very desperate situation.  His life is slipping away.  He could try to save himself, but this would result in disaster.  He responds with a cry out to His Lord Jesus Christ.  “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:31)

We can describe Peter’s cry in three ways:
1. It was a desperate cry.  Peter knows that death is near.  He has only one hope. Likewise God is waiting for our cry of desperation to Him.  The Psalmist wrote:  “This poor man CRIED and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”  (Psalm 34:6)
2. It was a cry of faith. Peter calls out to the Lord in faith.  He knows that the Lord alone can save him from sinking to the depths of the sea.  Faith is believing that the Lord hears our cries and that he will respond.  “I sought the Lord, and he heard me.” (Psalm 34:4)
3. It was a cry based on his knowledge of Christ.  Peter knows that the Lord can save him.  He knows that the Lord is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving.  As we know the Lord in deeper way, we can cry out to him with greater confidence and freedom.

The Deliverance by the Loving Lord

Jesus hears Peter’s desperate cry and he immediately responds: “And immediately Jesus stretched form his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14:31-32)

Yes, there will be times when we seem to be sinking deeper and deeper.  All hope seems lost, but Our Lord is waiting for us to cry out to Him.  His hand is always ready to pull us back out of the tempest.

“Dear Lord, there are many times that I seem to sink deeper and deeper into sin, despair, or discouragement. My circumstances seem too difficult to bear.  Help me, to learn to cry out to you in the times when I am sinking.  Thank you for always being ready and willing to pull me up from whatever is causing me to sink. Amen.”

Temptation: Am I Prepared to Resist it?

     Temptation to sin is something every believer experiences.  Our Lord Jesus Christ faced direct temptation from Satan; yet He never yielded to the temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11)
 THE SOURCES OF TEMPTATIONS
      Temptation comes in many forms; but the three main sources of our temptations are:
      1. The flesh-” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
      2. The devil-Genesis 3:1-10 (The tempting of Eve)
      3. The world, which refers to the system of thinking that is against God. “
            “And be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2)
    Temptations can come upon us in a very subtle fashion to cause us to sin against God; or they can come suddenly with great strength.  Are we prepared to face the temptations that will come our way?
THE RIGHT PREPARATION FOR TEMPTATIONS
      Before any temptation strikes, we need to be prepared by means of our daily walk with God.  These questions should help to see how prepared we are to face temptations that will come our way.
     1. Is my whole heart seeking after God out of my love for Him?  “With my whole heart have I sought thee:”  (Psalm 119:10)
     2. Is the Word of God implanted in my heart? ” Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
     3. What brings the most delight in my life?  “I delight to do thy will”
         (Psalm 40:8)
     4. How is my prayer life? ” Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18)
    5. Am I in regular fellowship with other believers? “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
     6. Have I laid aside every thing that hinders my Christian growth? “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us”.  (Hebrews 12:1)
     Joseph, Daniel and others were able to resist temptation because they were prepared beforehand.  What about us?  Are we prepared for the temptations that will come our way?