Faith in the midst of the fire

Let’s face it….life is not easy. Things fall apart….people get sick, Financial struggles arise….people are not perfect. When we rely on ourselves..or on other people….we are going to get disappointed. It is only when we remember to keep our eyes on the Lord that life’s trials wont drown us. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he was able to walk on the water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. The second he focused on the water, and took his eyes off Jesus and began to doubt, he started to sink .

Matthew 14:22-33 (New International Version)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

All too often we let the storms of life take our focus off of Jesus, we start to stress and worry, and begin to sink. Feelings of failure, and doubt fill our minds…and we say ” I cant do this alone” ” I give up” …..and we are right, we CANT do it alone….we need to look to God for help. whether its finances, or health, or other issues….without God we are just fighting to hold onto pride, and do things on our own.

The Bible tells us in many places that we should not worry, but Cast our cares upon the Lord, for He cares for us. ( Luke 12:22-34….1 Peter 5:7… just to name a couple) I am writing this just as much for myself as anyone. I have seen first hand numerous times how God provides for his children when we let go and turn our cares over to Him. I also know that prayer is not a big bandaid and sometimes we DO struggle, and the answer to prayer is not always what we WANT…but God is in control, and HE knows what is best. All we have to do is stop relying on our own strength and turn it over to Him. He has promised He will never give us more than He knows we can handle…and He is NOT gonna leave us in the midst of a crisis to struggle alone…..He will provide a way out….and will be there with us in the Midst of it…IF we let Him. Psalm 23: 4 states “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” This is usually read at funerals…however, it is meant for everyday life…..yes we will have trials and hardship….but Through those dark times, God is with us…He does not leave us. He did not keep Daniel out of the Lions Den….but was there with him …and kept him safe from the Lions, and in the outcome, God got the glory, because Daniel held onto his faith that God would protect him.  (Daniel 6). God did not keep  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego out of the fire…but he met them there…and they walked out unburned..because of their faith, and God got the glory (Daniel 3).

It is Just as important for us to remember to Praise God when everything is going good…to thank Him for the blessings He pours out on us.  one of the Psalms I can remember my dad reading often…..one that has stuck with me into my adult years is Psalm 34…

Psalm 34 (King James Version)

Psalm 34

1I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

15The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

16The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

22The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

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