Welcome To The
Battle Bow
Bible Teaching Series
by
Kraig Josiah Rice
Distress and Deliverance
(A Bible Study About the Trial of Your Faith)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
God is the great I Am
Main Passage of Scripture- Matthew 14:23-31
Verse 22
Verse 23
Verse 24
Verse 25
Verse 26
Verse 27
Verse 28
Verse 29
Verse 30
Verse 31
Verse 32
Verse 33
Conclusion

Dark clouds bring
Showers of blessing


INTRODUCTION

Are you going through troubled waters right now? Does it look like your boat is about ready to sink? Is their distress in your life? Sometimes there is a trial that comes to the life of a believer when it is not a result of a sin issue. But take heart, you can find comfort from God's word about how to endure and get through a trial.

The chances are you are going through a trial right now. What is a trial? It is simply a test. God is the School Master and you and I are part of the student body. Yep, that's right. God has decided to give you a test- and not just a quiz, either. Let's call it a mid-term examination. It counts a lot towards your graduation. This test is not so much about God finding out about you- it is about you finding out about you. That's a scary thought, isn't it! God does not give school diplomas but He is interested in you graduating from this course in life with His approval for future service.

Christ's disciples had to go through a trial. In so doing they had to learn to lean on Him. They had to learn to die to self. They had to learn to trust Him. They had to learn to be weak so God could be strong through them. And there were other benefits as well. God means for a trial to help you, not to hurt you.

Why did Christ's disciples have to go through a trial?
"They still didn't understand the significance of the miracle of the multiplied loaves, for their hearts were hard and they did not believe"
(Mark 6:52).

Let's examine the scriptures to find out about the trial that Christ's disciples went through.

First, we start in the Old Testament in the days of Moses to lay the foundation and the frame work for this trial.

Here's the Biblical account:

10 "Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You will lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."

11 "But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?" Moses asked God. "How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"

12 Then God told him, "I will be with you. And this will serve as proof that I have sent you: When you have brought the Israelites out of Egypt, you will return here to worship God at this very mountain."

13 But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, `The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they won't believe me. They will ask, `Which god are you talking about? What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

14 God replied, "I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS". Just tell them, `I AM has sent me to you.' "

15 God also said, "Tell them, `The LORD, the God of your ancestors- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob- has sent me to you.' This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations.
(Exodus 3:10-15) (New Living Translation or NLT)

When God says that His name is the great I Am He is referring to His deity in the fact that He is eternally existent. That means that God does not have a beginning or an ending like mankind has. Each person on earth is born- he has a beginning. Each person on earth dies- he has an ending.

Most Christians understand the fact that this is God the Father from the Holy Trinity who is now talking with Moses. There is no doubt or confusion as to God's eternal existence or deity. God's name reflects His identity. Moses and the Israelites understood this perfectly clear.

Now, let's go to another passage of scripture in the New Testament that will also help us with this study.

58 Jesus answered,
"Truly, truly, before Abraham was, I am." (or also meaning) "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!"
(John 8:58). (NLT)
In this passage of scripture Jesus Christ uses the name, I AM, to let the folks know that He is God. It's a title of His deity. This is an important fact to note because He is going to use it again in the passage of scripture that we now come to. Remember, in the Holy Trinity Jesus Christ is God the Son. Jesus wants you to know that He has all power as God to help get you through your trial.

Now we go to our main passage of scriptures that we want to look at very carefully verse by verse:

"...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 Jesus came to them, walking on the water.

26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once.
"It's all right," he said. "I am" "(I am here!) Don't be afraid."

28 Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water."

29 "All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.

31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him.
"You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"

32 And 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."
(Matthew 14:24-33) NLT

This is the passage of scripture that we want to look at. This was an illustrated sermon lived out in the lives of Christ's disciples. John and Mark also make mention of it in their Gospel accounts. So God has placed it 3 times in His Holy Word. A good teacher always uses repetition of a strong fact so the students will be sure to learn the lesson. If it's important for God to mention it 3 times in His holy word, the Bible, then it's also important for us to take a close look at it to see what God is trying to teach us
(Mark 6:47-51; John 6:16-21).

Let's begin at verse 22:

22 "Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home."

Has the Lord ever placed you in a position that you don't want to be in? Well, this is the situation that the disciples found themselves in. They were tired. They were burned out. They had worked all day in helping Jesus feed the multitude. Now, it was supper time and they were hungry- all they had to eat that day was a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. Now, they had to get into a boat and row 7 miles across a lake. Can't you just hear them grumbling and complaining? They were typically just like you and me weren't they! Learning a spiritual lesson was the last thing right now that they wanted to do. But the Master is God and Ruler over all and He is the One controlling the circumstances.

23 "Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone."

Your boat is all alone on the sea. You might be surrounded by people but be the lonliest individual around. Each of those disciples in that boat was alone. Alone with his own thoughts. Alone with his own ambitions. Alone with his own goals. Alone with his own motivations. Alone with his own plans. You might feel all alone in your trial. It may look like God is no where around. It appears that you will have to try to paddle your canoe all by yourself. But you are limited. You don't have the capital, man power, or the resources to do it by yourself. You need the help of God and other people to help you. But you don't see it happening just yet. It just isn't coming together for you. Lonliness can be painful. A trial is like that. Each trial is taylored for the specific individual and no two trials are the same.

And now it's night time. It's a time of discouragement. Each one of those disciples wants to be home in bed curled up under a warm blanket and snuggling with his pillow. Each one of us wants to feel safe and secure. There's just no place like home to get this feeling! It's not a good feeling to go through a trial. It's a time of depression. There is darkness all around. Maybe it's Satanic darkness (oppression), or maybe it's just the result of the darkness of the trial itself. You feel uncomfortable. You don't like it.

There was no food to eat for supper. Sometimes in a trial our flesh has to be made weak in order for God to be strong through us. Self denial is the opposite of pampering ourself. Being cocky in our attitude, taking others for granted, or using others for our own ends is not good. Thinking too highly of ourself or taking the credit for what God has done is not good. Being spoiled rotten is not good. Getting your own way all of the time is not good. Up with the spirit and down with the flesh is an old saying. Also if you take the word flesh, take the letter h off of the end of it and spell it backwards it comes out to read self. We are supposed to crucify the self daily by daily taking up our cross. Daily we must stomp our old man (depraved human nature) down lest it get away from us and get us in the flesh where we can get into trouble.

Jesus Christ had spent most of the night alone on the mountain in prayer. Jesus Christ prays for each of us- He is right now at the right hand of the Father making prayerful intercession for each of us- we have an advocate (a lawyer) in Him with the father.

"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely."
I John 2:1

Matthew Henry had this to say in his commentary:
"It is good, at least sometimes, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and to take full scope in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. We must not restrain prayer."

We know the JOY of the Lord
NOT in spite of trials
but because of them


24 "Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves."

The disciples were in trouble. They were about half way across the lake- about 4 miles out. So, literally they were in the middle of the sea. It was the worst possible place for them to be. There was no hope for them to be rescued by anyone else. There were no other boats available for rescue. There was no way they could swim to shore- if they tried it they would drown.

The strong wind was blowing. They were fighting heavy waves. Maybe you are in trouble. Maybe you are in the middle of a trial right now. Maybe you feel that your circumstance is against you and you are being tossed about on the waves. Maybe more than one terrible circumstance is against you. There is no way out for you. No one wants to come and help you out. You are running out of hope. You are trapped by your particular circumstance. It appears that your boat just may turn over and you are going to die. Maybe you have run out of hope. Everything that you have tried so far has failed. Maybe that you are up to your neck in trouble. It does not look good.

These were not just waves- they were violent waves. Maybe your particular circumstance has to do with violence. There is a lot of violence in the world today. Christ was not with the disciples. They were about ready to die because of violence. They had tried the avenue of self sufficiency in rowing their boat by themselves and found that their efforts had failed. Maybe you have tried to handle your particular circumstance in your own way and by your own power and have failed. Going to God with your circumstance was not your first priority. The disciples were distressed. Maybe you are distressed.

Matthew Henry says this in his commentary:
"Jesus knew about their storm and He designed wonderful grace for them."

You and I can expect a God of love to design wonderful grace for us in the midst of our trial also.

The Geneva Study Bible has this to say:
"We must sail even through mighty tempests, and Christ will never forsake us, so that we can go wherever he has commanded us to go. "

Matthew Henry had this to say in his commentary:
"It was a stormy, tempestuous night. The disciples were afraid when in danger, and, sinking, cried again for help.

The condition that the poor disciples were in at this time:
Their ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves. We may have fair weather at the beginning of our voyage, and yet meet with storms before we arrive at the port we are bound for.

Though the wind was contrary, to meet with storms in the way of their duty..."

John Gill had this to say:
"...for the wind was against them; which beat the waves with such violence against them, that they were in the utmost danger of their lives, and not able to get forward; and what was worst of all, and most discouraging to the disciples, Christ was not with them.

The ship in which the disciples were, was an emblem of the church of Christ, and of its state and condition in this world: this world is like a sea, for its largeness, and the abundance of nations and people in it, compared to many waters,
(Revelation 17:15) and for the tumultuousness of its inhabitants; the wicked being like a troubled sea, which cannot rest, continually casting up the mire and dirt of sin, to the dishonour of God, and the grief of his people; and for its fickleness and inconstancy, changes and war being continually in it: now the church of Christ is like a ship in this troublesome sea; where the true disciples and followers of Christ are selected together; and are preserved from the pollutions of the world, and from the danger to which the men of it are exposed, being in their sins, and liable to the wrath and curse of God, and eternal damnation; which, they that are in Christ, and members of his body, are secure from; the port or haven to which they are bound, is heaven and eternal happiness; their's and Christ's Father's house, where are many mansions provided for them; and where they long to be, and hope, and believe, ere long they shall arrive unto; and hope is as an anchor of their soul, sure and steadfast: but in the mean while, whilst they are sailing through the sea of this world, they are often, as the church of old, tossed with tempests, and not comforted,
(Isaiah 55:11) with the tempests of Satan's temptations, the storms of the world's persecutions, and with the winds of error and false doctrine; and then is it most uncomfortable to them, when Christ is not with them, which was the case of the disciples here."
(John Gill's Exposition of the Bible)

We cannot direct the wind
But we can adjust the sails


25 "About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water."

The fourth watch was the watch nearer to day break. You may be going through what some call a long black tunnel. Seemingly, there is no end in sight to it. But take courage. The tunnel has an end. The end will eventually begin to be seen. The long duration of your trial does have an end to it. Light is about to break at dawn. Your darkness is going to be over. Jesus, the Light of the World, is going to put an end to it for you.

Jesus came to them walking on the water. Why did He do it this way? God always works in mysterious ways. No two trials will have the same ending. God specializes in diversity according to the individual. Just like His natural creation (animals, fish, etc.) has so much diversity in colors, shapes, and sizes, so too, His trials and their endings are also diverse according to how it pleases Him. God hides much in His sovereignty. If He didn't then mankind might try to find a way to manipulate Him. The ending of your trial just might be one that you don't anticipate.

Matthew Henry says in his commentary, "Christ can take what way he pleases to save his people."

Roger Hahn says in his commentary, " Verses 25 and 26 describe Jesus as walking on the sea. Matthew’s first readers would have recognized that in the Old Testament it was God and God alone who could stride across the sea.
Job 9:8; 38:16; Psalm 77:19;
Isaiah 43:16; and Habakkuk 3:15 make this clear. The point is clear. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water the correct conclusion to draw is that Jesus was God himself. If this was not clear in verses 25-26, verse 27 will make it clear. Jesus responds to the disciples’ cry of fear by saying, "Take courage, it is I AM. Fear not." His words echo the divine name I AM WHO I AM given to God in Exodus 3:14. The story of the walking on the water is designed to teach us the deity of Christ."
http://www.cresourcei.org/biblestudy/bbmatt11.html

Jesus knew about His disciples dilemma yet He would not go to their relief until it was His perfect timing. God's timing may not be your timing. Since He is the One who is in control then He determines the timing, not you or me.

How did Christ come towards His disciples? Was He angry at them for getting into such a horrible circumstance? Was He coming at them to punish them? Do you think that He is angry at you for getting into such a horrible personal circumstance? No. Christ is always coming towards us in the way of mercy. He does not expect sheep to be perfect. Like Peter, it's good for us to go forth to meet Him. We must always maintain a strong dependence upon Christ.

26 "When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost."

The disciples looked at Jesus but they couldn't recognize Him. There was a problem there. The disciples misinterpreted what they saw. They were looking at Jesus but didn't recognize Him for who He was.

How many people today look at Jesus Christ and don't really see Him for Who He is? One Christian cult says He is "a god" but not God the Son. Another Christian cult says that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan. And on and on it goes. They are looking at Jesus but there is a problem- He is misinterpreted. They don't really see Him for Who He really is.

39 "...I have come to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind."

40 The Pharisees who were standing there heard him and asked, "Are you saying we are blind?"

41 "If you were blind, you wouldn't be guilty," Jesus replied. "But you remain guilty because you claim you can see."

(John 9:39-41) (NLT)

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14 "Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."

15 Then he asked them,
"Who do you say I am?"

16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus replied,
"You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being."
(Matthew 16:13-17) (NLT)

So we see here that the right answer is the fact that Jesus Christ is God (the Son).

Now, I want to quit preaching here for a moment and go to meddling in your life.

Who is it that blinds the spiritual eyes of man so he can't see? Who is it that blinds the spiritual mind of man so he can't understand the word of God? Do you think that the enemy of your soul has laid down to take a nap? Watch out- don't be caught off guard. See the peril that is before you. Satan goes around as a roaring lion seeking to devour you.

How many times have each of us strived for relationship with Jesus but wound up looking at religion instead? Christianity and Churchanity are two different things. We need to see the difference.

How many of us have gone to church to worship Holy Jesus only then to go to a movie theater to watch unholy things? We don't see then that our holiness is affected. We don't see what we are approving of to others.

How many of us think that we are saved to sit rather than saved to serve? Our attitude might be, Let someone else volunteer to do those church duties. Sometimes we can't see that we are doing it for the Lord.

When you look at the harvest field that is white and ready to harvest- do you really see it? There are souls to be saved. There is God's word to be shared with others. or, if we see it corectly, do we really care?

Are you in denial? There is something not right so you just close your eyes and hope that it all goes away- refusing to look and then refusing to confront and deal with the issue at hand?

The cream always floats to the top

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once.
"It's all right," he said. "I am" "(I am here!) Don't be afraid."

So Jesus came along. He knew they were there. He knew they were in trouble. He knew they were praying. He knew He was going to help them. And maybe it's the same with you. You have waited patiently for Jesus to come to you. But don't despair. He is coming to you. He knows where you are. He knows what kind of trouble you are in. He is coming in response to your prayers. He is planning on helping you.

With His presence and with His words He knows how to calm our fears. He gives each of us reassurance, hope, and peace.

"I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid."
(John 14:27)

What's the first thing that we see here in this verse that is very obvious? It's the fact that Jesus Christ has miracle working power. Because He has this kind of power there is no storm or problem in your life that He cannot conquer for you.

Gijs Van Den Brink had this to say:
"The disciples' need was the occasion for all these remarkable happenings. Emergencies (they cried out for fear) are not always the worst of our experiences. They are also an occasion for the Lord's intervention. Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid. Jesus spoke above the storm and uttered two words which are a self-revelation of God: 'It is I', literally 'I am', Exodus 3:14. When Jesus says 'Take courage' ... 'don't be afraid' these are not just calming words but an absolute assurance to feel secure. He has the situation under control."
http://www.elim.nl/eng/nt/matt/mat14.htm

The People's New Testament had this to say:
"It is I; be not afraid. How often has he to speak this word of encouragement, even to his own! almost always when they are brought suddenly, or in an unusual way, face to face with him.
See Gen. 15:1; 21:17; Judges 6:23;
Matthew 28:5; Luke 2:10. It is I. Literally, I am. The same language used by Jesus in Jerusalem
(John 8:58), for which the Pharisees would have stoned him, and in the Old Testament to designate Jehovah
(Exodus 3:14). Here I should prefer to give it this meaning: Christ says not merely, "It is I, your Friend and Master;" he says, the "I AM," is coming to you, the Almighty One who rules wind and waves, who made them, and whom they obey."

The disciples knew the voice of Jesus- just like sheep who know the voice of their master.

"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice.

5 They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice."
(John 10:3-5)


Get rid of the wrinkles
Of worry
Have a Faith lift


28 Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water."

What do you need from the Lord? Is there anything too hard for Him to do on your behalf? Do you need a miracle? Do you need healing? Do you need salvation? Do you need guidance? Or do you need something else? It's good to put your petition before the Lord.

Be bold like Peter was and ask the Lord for it. It just might be that the good Lord will give it to you. The other disciples did not ask and therefore did not receive.

29 "All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. "

Each of us should always approach Jesus, but we must first approach Him on His terms NOT on our terms. He first must approve of us knowing that our sin issue has been dealt with by His blood and only by His blood. He has to give each of us permission to come to Him. He is the only Way
(John 14:6). He is the One who is in charge. He is the boss. And He is the one who establishes the rules.

If you get into rebellion against Him and then approach Him as a magic genie inside of a bottle to work some magic for you then it isn't going to work. You can't stand in a pentagram on the floor to make Jesus jump through hoops for you like a trained seal. Either Christ is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. He wants all of your heart. You shouldn't divide part of your heart for Christ and part of your heart for Satan or willful sin at the same time. You have to prove that your heart is totally sold out to Him. That's why folks in the early church burned their sorcery and witchcraft books after they accepted Christ as their saviour.

Here are a few bad examples from scripture of folks who approached the Lord with an unrepentant and evil heart:

11 "How terrible it will be for them! For they follow the evil example of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they will do anything for money. And like Korah, they will perish because of their rebellion."
(Jude verse 11)

18 "When Simon (the sorcerer) saw that the Holy Spirit was given when the apostles placed their hands upon people's heads, he offered money to buy this power.

19 "Let me have this power, too," he exclaimed, "so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!"

20 But Peter replied, "May your money perish with you for thinking God's gift can be bought!

21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right before God.

22 Turn from your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts,

23 for I can see that you are full of bitterness and held captive by sin."

24 "Pray to the Lord for me," Simon exclaimed, "that these terrible things won't happen to me!"
(Acts 8:18-24) (NLT)

No matter what the world, the flesh, and the devil throws at us, each of us, like Peter, must keep pressing forward towards our Master. He is our goal and we must keep Him in sight. We will have troubles and difficulties in this life. God does not want us to tuck our tail between our legs and slink off in another direction in defeat.

John Darby had this to say:
"God has indeed sent forth His people to cross the stormy sea of the world alone, meeting with an opposition against which it is hard to strive.

Nothing can sustain itself except that faith which draws from Jesus the strength that is in Him, and which therefore imitates Him. But it is sweet to imitate Him; and one is then nearer to Him, more like Him. This is the true position of the church For often circumstances make us forget Him where faith ought to enable us to overcome circumstances through our walking by faith in Him who is above them all."
(John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament)

We have to be bold and have courage to come to Christ with our needs.

Matthew Henry had this to say in his commentary:
"It was very bold in Peter, that he would venture to come to Christ.

Through the strength of Christ we are borne up above the world, enabled to trample upon it, kept from sinking into it, from being overwhelmed by it, obtain a victory over it
(1 John verse 4), by faith in Christ's victory
(John 16:33), and with him are crucified to it
(Galatians 6:14).

1. Peter had faith enough to bring him upon the water, yet, because not enough to carry him through, Christ tells him he had but little.
2. Our discouraging doubts and fears are all owing to the weakness of our faith: therefore we doubt, because we are but of little faith."

"By faith we tread under our feet even the tempests themselves, but only by the power of Christ, which helps that faith, which he by his mercy has given."
(Geneva Study Bible)

Worry is a misuse
Of the imagination


30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.

Are you in a life or death situation right now? Are you alone? Are you frightened? Are circumstances contrary to you right now? Is your faith low? Have you gotten your eyes off of Jesus? Do you think that you are finished with no hope of starting all over again?

Well, this is the situation that Peter now confronts. He did the right thing. When you get into trouble go to Jesus first. Cry out to Him for mercy and deliverance. He loves you. You are special to Him. He will not leave you or forsake you.

There's an old saying that goes something like this: when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on! What did Jesus do? Jesus reached out and saved him physically. Jesus did not allow him to drown. Jesus will reach out to you also and will also save you physically, God willing, just like He did to Peter.

If one of His children asks Him for a loaf of bread He will not give him a rock to eat
(Matthew 7:9).

John Darby said, "The cry of his distress brought the power of Jesus into action."
(John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament)

Gijs Van Den Brink said, "A short prayer is long enough, when it comes from the heart."

31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him.
"You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"

The first thing we see in this passage of scripture is the fact that Jesus helped Peter. He helps because of His love and kindness. In spite of Peter's doubt, God worked in a mysterious way to solve the problem of an adverse circumstance in the lives of the disciples at that moment. He calmed the sea instantly. God worked a miracle here turning the waters calm. And God can work a miracle in your life in calming the storm in your life.

And what do we do with the problem of having low faith like Peter had? Why do we need greater faith? Because without faith it is impossible to please Him
(Hebrews 11:6). We need to keep our eyes firmly planted on Jesus in the midst of our adverse circumstance. Each of us needs to increase our faith. How do we do that? The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God
(Romans 10:17).

21 Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, `May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen.

22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
(Matthew 21:21-22).

A preacher once said if you can't say "amen" then say "oh me." Doubt is linked with unbelief which is linked to a hard heart. A hard heart is fostered by wrong thinking. Wrong thinking is fostered by not studying the Word of God. Notice I did not say reading the Word of God but studying the Word of God. As I said before doubt is the same as unbelief. Unbelief is a spiritual killer. It will keep us in our adverse circumstance and keep God from working a miracle on our behalf. Nevertheless, God sometimes comes to our rescue in spite of our doubt. He does this because of His grace, compassion, and kindness.

We need to study the Bible more and by doing so our faith will increase. We can attend church services more frequently where we hear more of the Word of God read and proclaimed. We can read testimonies of others of what God has done for them and in so doing we will realize how big God really is. We can have others pray for us for a specific reason- that adverse circumstance in your life. Contacting as many church "prayer chains" as possible with your prayer request is valuable because there are folks there with the gift of prayer intercession to touch the hem of His garment for you with your petition.

"Jesus . . . caught him . . . and said, O thou of little faith! Peter's act did not exemplify his faith, but his doubts. True faith never attempts wonders merely for the sake of doing them. It is a fact that ought to be noted that the Gospels narrate the failures in miraculous power on the part of the apostles as well as their success. No book of myths would do this. At the same time it is always made plain why they failed."
(People's New Testament)

32 "And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped."

The boat can symbolize your life. It is always good to welcome the Lord into your life. He will come to live in your heart if you will invite Him in. Sometimes He comes to you in the midst of your worst storm. Your storm might be spiritual, emotional, or physical. Regardless, it does not matter. Christ is Master over any contrary circumstance in your life and my life. There is nothing that He can't do. He has all power in Heaven and on earth. And He should receive all of our praise and glory for who He is, not for what He does for us.

Christ did not just work one miracle for them, He worked two. Not only did He calm the sea but He transported them in distance. The Apostle John added a little more information:

21 "Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination!"
(John 6:21)

It just might be that God will work more than one miracle in your case when you touch the hem of His garment in faith. God knows you, He knows your situation, and He knows what you are going through. Always be an optomist and rest assured that God is coming to you after you cry out to Him from your desperation. He may answer your prayers in ways other than what you expect. He works in mysterious ways.

John Darby had this to say:
"Jesus having entered the ship, the wind ceases. Even so it will be when Jesus returns to the remnant of His people in this world. Then also will He be worshipped as the Son of God by all that are in the ship, with the remnant of Israel."
(John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament)

Matthew Henry had this to say in his commentary:
"Thus the sea of the world is become like a sea of glass, congealed so as to bear; and they that have gotten the victory, stand upon it and sing
(Revelation 15:2 & 3) When our souls are following hard after God, then it is that his right hand upholds us; it was David's experience. Christ's time to (physically) save is, when we (physically) sink
(Psalms 18:16).

When Christ came into the ship, Peter came in with him. Companions with Christ in his patience, shall be companions in his kingdoms,
(Revelation 1:9). Those that walk with him shall reign with him; those that are exposed, and that suffer with him, shall triumph with him."

The People's New Testament has this to say:
"The wind ceased. They were safe, for the Lord was with them. Under his arms (wings of a mother hen) there is always safety."

33 Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed."

After the trial usually comes blessing. Not only as a result (in you) from the results of the trial but other blessings as well. In this case the disciples got some R and R (rest and relaxation) after the exhausting trial which had sapped their spiritual, emotional, and physical energy. It was a vacation in Gennesaret away from the crowds of thousands that usually followed Jesus around. So after you go through your trial count your blessings if you can...

Matthew Henry had this to say in his commentary:
"The adoration paid to Christ hereupon; They that were in the ship came and worshipped him, and said, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God. Two good uses they made of this distress, and this deliverance. They took occasion from it to give him the glory."

"They that were in the ship came and worshipped him. Not only did they approach him with an outward unforbidden gesture of worship, "but they avowed him, for the first time collectively, to be the Son of God."

They came into the land of Gennesaret. A small district four miles long and two or three wide, on the west side of the Sea of Galilee, to which it gave one of its names. Josephus describes it as the garden of the whole land, and possessing a fertility and loveliness almost unparalleled."
(People's New Testament)

CONCLUSION

Why does God allow trials to come our way? Well, I'll be the first one to admit that I don't have all of the answers. But here is one reason:
It might be Christ's opportunity to fight for you:
24 "But early in the morning, the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw them into confusion.

25 Their chariot wheels began to come off, making their chariots impossible to drive. "Let's get out of here!" the Egyptians shouted. "The LORD is fighting for Israel against us!"
(Exodus 14:24)

Another reason is it might be that the Lord wants to do something in your life. We may not always get the answer to that question. They say that a silver smith has to heat the silver until he can see his reflection in it. Then he turns the heat down. He has to do this to burn the impurities out of it to make it more pure. I think that is what God does to each of us in a trial. There is an old saying, "when the world squeezes you like a sponge make sure Jesus comes out."

The question was once asked "why do you go to church?" The standard response was always "to get a blessing." However, one dear old lady saint corrected the answer. She said "it's to be a blessing." Do you suppose that this trial is in your life because the Lord wants to eventually make you a blessing?

You are on the earth in a storm tossed trial in peril. You may have boisterous waves against you. You may be afraid. You may be alone. You may feel helpless and hopeless. God is the only One who can help you. In desperation you cry to Him. Take comfort. God is coming to you to help you. Your results may take awhile. Your results may come in a way that you least expect. Rest assured that God is a very BIG God. He is master of your circumstance. He will help you. He is the answer. Keep looking to Him!

Trials are not enemies of faith
but
are opportunities to prove God's faithfulness

This document presented to you by the Bread On The Waters Ministry
of Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com


The Battle Bow Bible Teaching Series

If you want to study the Holy Bible online then this is the place to go to.


Click here to go to the master index page

An article about anxiety

Battered Armour
    This is a good tract if you are going through a Job's trial or extended duration trial.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Overcoming discouragement

This Thing Is From Me


Home



As of February 12, 2006