7/25/19– Circumstances

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

I admit that my faith is like a roller coaster.

I see myself in Peter first walking on water (faith) then sinking in it (fear) (Matthew 14:22-33). Within a few minutes, this disciple ascends to the heights of discipleship, then plunges to the depths of doubt and despair. Have you been there? Are you there today?

How can we live more in faith?

First, if you pay attention to the Bible’s report of this incident, when Peter was walking on top of the water, his attention was focused “toward Jesus” (v. 29).But “when he saw the wind, he was afraid,” (v. 30).And he began to sink.

When Jesus is bigger than your circumstances—not just in reality, but in your faith—then your circumstances don’t control you. When Jesus becomes smaller than your circumstances—not in reality, but in your faith—then your circumstances control you.

Secondly, when Peter was sinking, even though he doubted he still had a little faith. Enough to scream, “Lord, save me” (v. 30)! What happened next will give you more faith. “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (v. 31). Immediately.

This is the grace of Jesus. Forgiveness for doubters. Mercy for sinkers. Love for followers who lose focus.

Jesus reaches out to you and catches you while you are sinking, while you are doubting. He doesn’t wait for you to swim, to shape up, or to walk on water before he rescues you. He is always there. Always forgiving. Always rescuing. In the middle of your sin, your shame, your bad behavior, your poor decision. He reaches out.

Your circumstances cannot save or condemn you. Don’t give them that much credit. How you respond to your circumstances is more important. And that, follower of Jesus, is best determined by how Jesus responds to your circumstances. They are not lord, Jesus is. They will not forgive, Jesus will. They cannot save, Jesus can. They are not on control, Jesus is.

PRAYER:Dear Jesus—Rescuer, Reacher, Responder—you respond to my circumstances better than I do. Keep me by your side, and teach me to focus on you more than my circumstances. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION:Meditate and pray as you consider which of your circumstances this week is tempting you to give them too much credit, too much power and control in your life. Remind yourself of a specific promise of Jesus or Bible verse that convinces you otherwise. Stay close to that verse for a week and see what Jesus can do.