Updated: Jan 3, 2021
Are you excited to put 2020 behind you?! Has this year been challenging? We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply must trust His will. Challenging times does not always mean bad. If you are faced with a challenge and you push through, that builds character, you grow. Think of strength training. To build muscle, you must work hard and challenge your muscles with resistance. With resistance your muscles get stronger. Training is needed and it is not supposed to be easy. It is the same for Gods kingdom.
I am choosing to believe 2020 was used to build my strength. We must remember God has a reason for allowing things to happen. Even though 2020 had its set of challenges, I believe 2021 will have its own set of challenges too. How do we prepare for the challenges ahead? We align ourselves with Gods Word. I am not going to fear the challenges because I know God is always with me and He is preparing me to remember His promises. I’m stepping into 2021 with unwavering faith.
In Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It’s a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they go into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Through Peter’s lesson we learn some key take-aways.
- Certain storms are unavoidable. When we are in the storm, what does God want us to learn? We survive the storm and it becomes a miracle, but we are not just a survivor, we are a student of the challenge.
- God’s timing is designed to teach you trust. If Gods goal is to change us, then He will show up late, when we least expect it. When you experience the strong wind and become afraid, remember His promise. “Take heart it is I; do not be afraid.” Just because you don’t see Jesus does not mean he doesn’t see you.
- Do NOT interpret the wind as an indication you should turn back and head home. When you are in the resistance of the wind keep pushing through. Something amazing will be on the other side. Peter didn’t even really express faith. He accepted possibility. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you command me to come to you on the water.” "What if" works both ways. It can make you freak out and make you turn back with all the horrible what if possibilities or it can make you step forward into all the wonderful what if possibilities.
- The Deepest things God speaks are the simplest. When Jesus commanded Peter, it was with one word. “Come”. There were no details, it was just direction. Ask God for direction instead. Simplify what God is saying to you because sometimes He could only give you one word. (Love, Grace, Forgive, Peace, Grateful, Come)
God gives the test before He gives the lesson. The disciples did not know what was on the other side and neither do you, but the Lord with catch you immediately when you begin to fall. Peter was the one with faith and stepped out, then Peter began to sink and Jesus immediately caught him. “You of little faith” Jesus said. Out of all the disciples how was Peter the one with little faith? What is big faith? Peters faith did not refer to quantity but if refers to quality. It was not that Peter wasn't strong in faith but it was because his faith wasn’t sustained. Sometimes the greatest faith is when you stay with the One who has authority over every situation! Peter failed the test but he learned the lesson. Not a lesson about water but a lesson about worship. Jesus is a faithful catcher. He will always catch you. Step out in BIG faith and claim all of 2021’s promises for you. Your reward in heaven is greater than anything here on earth. Walk with the Holy Spirit this year and learn to walk on water!