Part of my personal journey in faith is trying to understand what faith truly is. I want to understand what it means to not only have faith but to walk in faith in my everyday life. I feel like this week I had a revelation about the meaning of taking a step out in faith.
Faith isn't walking on water, it is taking that first step out of the boat.
"'Come,' Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." Matthew 14:29
In my own life, there have been times when I've been too afraid to take that first step out of the boat. I look around at my circumstances or I begin to calculate the risks and allow doubt and fear to dictate my actions or inactions. Looking back, there are times when the Lord was prompting me to take a step out of the boat because He wanted me to walk on water but I was too afraid.
"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'” Matthew 14:30
I listened to a pastor's teachings on Jesus walking on water and how Peter took that initial step out of the boat and miraculously walked on water toward Jesus. When Peter began to focus on the storm and the waves, that is when he began to sink.
I've read or heard this story of Jesus and Peter many, many times but this time it was as if my Heavenly Father was talking directly to me.
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him." Matthew 14:31
When Peter began to sink, Jesus was there to rescue him. Despite being afraid, Peter took that initial step in faith and when fear and doubt set in, Jesus demonstrated his faithfulness to Peter.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
It must have taken great courage for Peter to take that initial step out of the boat but he found the courage and experienced the faithfulness of our Father in a miraculous way.
"Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds." Psalms 36:5
Unlike Peter, I've often chosen not to take that first step in faith. I stay in the boat because I believe that is where I will be safe. But I now believe that if the Lord is prompting me to take a step out in faith, it means that there is something miraculous He has planned for me.
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10
There is one thing in this particular sermon that has stuck with me. The pastor mentions that the Bible doesn't specifically mention how Peter gets back to the boat. This pastor said he envisions Jesus lifting Peter out of the stormy waters and carrying him back to the boat.
"And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'” Matthew 14:32
Imagining that Jesus is walking with me as I take these courageous steps in faith every day, ready to lift me up and carry me out of situations and circumstances, that fills me with a sense of peace.
"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:17
He is a good, good Father. He wants the very best for me. If I sit in the boat, full of fear and never step out in faith, I will never know what miraculous blessings He has in store for me. This is true for all of God's children.
Brothers and sisters, don't be afraid to take that first step out of the boat. Like He did with Peter, our Lord and Savior will show His faithfulness in your life.