Friday, May 10, 2013

FAITH DURING TOUGH TIMES - May 10th ASK Prayer Night message

Matthew 14: 22 - 33 (New Living Translation)
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.
Jesus sends his disciples to get on to the boat to cross other side of river. Disciples obeyed God’s plan and went on to the boat.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning

The storm hits the sea and the boat is being tossed. It is dark, they are helpless, they are being tossed either side of the boat and they are wet. There was no way they could get out of the situation by themselves. They must be tossed in the boat for about 8 to 9 hours since Jesus sent them in the evening. They must be scared, tired. They would be losing hope and strength.
Jesus allowed this storm; the disciples were in this storm for many hours not just 1 hour or 2 hours. We might face situations in life were we feel we are in the problem forever.
When we are in such situations we wonder, what went wrong. We lose hope just focusing on the problem. We get revolved in fear when we only look at the problem.
Point #1: When we are I trouble, we wonder why we are here. We begin to fear. – Just Trust in God and HOLD ON and wait through the tough time.
25[b] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
When we are in Fear, we are confused, we cannot see things right. Disciples got confused for Jesus as a Ghost. They were terrified that much that they could not think right. They have seen all healing miracles Jesus has done but still could not understand it could be Jesus who can even walk on water.

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![c]
Jesus answered at once. (KJV says immediately). He did not wait. When the time comes, he responds immediately. He always comfort us. He says “Take courage, I am here”.  He did not say the storm will stop or you will not be tossed into water or you will not die. He does not talk about your problem. He just said “Take Courage, I am here”. That means we should know Jesus is always with us in any situation and be strong! It is not the situation we should focus.
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
It was only Peter of all disciples who asked God if he can come. He asked for something supernatural. We know about Peter He was a normal human being like us. He denied Jesus on the night Jesus was betrayed due to Fear. But still Peter asks Jesus if he can come to him. Jesus did not do any miracle for him to get out of the boat. He was ready to put himself in that stormy waves and walked out. He focused on Jesus and had faith on Jesus and was ready to reach out.
We need to get out of our comfort zone. If Jesus asks us to do something which is difficult, we need to trust him and do it.
As in the book of Esther 4:16, we see that she was ready to go out of her comfort zone. She knew she was going against law and she might die but still she took a step to walk in the storm.
Point #2: If you want to do it, you have to get out of the boat. – You have to go out of the comfort zone.
30 But when he saw the strong[d] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
As Peter started walking, he did not care about the storm and waves, he focused on Jesus believing he can reach Jesus. Even though he was battling the strong winds for the last 8 to 9 hours but still was ready to get out of the boat. What an act of Faith!
All of a sudden, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around at the problem, the wind and he became terrified and started sinking. All through our problem, let us not look at the problem, let us fix our eyes on Jesus.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Once peter knew he was sinking, he called out to Jesus to save him and we see that Jesus grabbed him immediately. Jesus says you sank because of your doubt. When Jesus says little faith, he does not talk about the size of faith but the completeness. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 9:29 – Jesus heals the Blind men saying “According to your Faith, let it be to you”
Point #3: When you focus on the wind and waves, you sink. Don’t focus on the problems, Fix our eyes on Jesus.
When we are walking in tough time, if we remove our eyes from the Lord, we would sink. That is the reason for depression, addictions etc.
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
When we allow Jesus in our life, we would get the calm in the storm. As they climbed back into the boat, the storm stormed. When we focus our situation on Jesus and allow Jesus come into our situation and take control, we would see the storm clam down.

Let us pray to always have an unshaken faith on the Lord Jesus. Let us have the wisdom to analyze if the situations we are in are allowed by God or if we brought It by ourselves. As in proverbs 28:26; Let us walk wisely. Let us fix our eyes on the Lord and keep walking in faith.

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