Matthew 14:22-32, Isaiah 26:3, Jeremiah 15: 16, 18 & 19
As I entered 2009, my prayer for myself for the year was that I would walk on water. Whatever my circumstances were, my prayer was that I wouldn't feel them; that instead, I would walk on water in trust of God.
For me, the water represented financial issues, infertility and promises from God that I'm still waiting for the fulfillment of; for you it could be something different.
With my breakthrough in trust still fresh from 2008 (which you can read about in a previous Life File), I began my journey of walking on water.
It didn't take me long to discover that in water walking I'm like Peter (Matthew 14:22-32). When faced with a problem or storm, I take a few steps of trust and faith and then take my eyes off Jesus. Are you the same? After starting out well, I look at the circumstance (water) and begin to sink in panic, fear, hopelessness, despair and discouragement, losing all sight of who He is, what He's doing and what He can do.
The first couple of months of the year, I sank a few times. Each time though, God taught me something knew, which meant I could walk on the water more confidently and for longer next time.
On one of those occasions of sinking, I experienced severe hopelessness and despair. I cried out to God in prayer as Peter did when he began to sink and I decided to read some scriptures on suffering to see if God would speak anything to me. As the wonderful Father that He is, He answered me in the first scripture I read.
Jeremiah 15: 16, 18 & 19
18 'Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you indeed be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail and are uncertain?'
Jeremiah articulated my questions of God and my pain better than I could. I knew God was a brook and water; He's the source of life in so many ways to me. However with the unanswered questions I had, I wondered if He was a 'deceitful brook' and 'waters that fail and are uncertain'.
Jeremiah began by saying:
16 'Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.'
God can be everything to you and I; we can love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and know we're on the path He's called us to; yet we will still encounter suffering and unanswered questions.
God's answer to Jeremiah also spoke to my very core and I hope it will encourage you too as you learn to trust God whatever circumstances come your way:
19 'Therefore thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah]: If you return [and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair], then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile [cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness], you shall be....'
God hit the nail on the head. I was distrusting, despairing and suspicious of His faithfulness. It was as if God was saying this to me personally and it helped me realise that my despair and distrust were mistaken and my suspicions were unwarranted.
Somehow in the spirit, this has helped me to walk far more consistently in trust and I've hardly had any time sinking since! I can choose to trust God, because He IS faithful and He IS good ALL the time. I have years of relationship with Him to confirm this is true, I know of many Christians who have proved this to be the case and a Bible full of testimony and teaching as well.
As this year has progressed, I've walked on water in a way that I've never done before. As I've trusted, my thought life and emotions have known a peace, joy and security in God that I've not previously known (Isaiah 26:3). I'm able to stand in faith for things that I couldn't before. In the finances I haven't worried like I usually would and I've abandoned myself in trust of God. I can share that although this year has perhaps been as crazy a year as any in terms of income, God has miraculously provided more than I had asked for or imagined as well as keeping me in peace as I kept my mind and heart on Him. He's not taken the waters away, but is helping me walk on them.
Whether you're facing a health issue, a financial issue or a relationship problem, keep your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Nothing takes Him by surprise and He uses all things for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). The stormier the weather is for us, the greater the opportunity for faith to be proved real; for the miraculous to occur and for God to reveal who He is with His mighty arm.
At the end of her life a woman of faith was asked if there was anything she would have done differently. Her answer was that she would have trusted God more. Let's be people who take Him at His word, walk on the water of our circumstances and look into His wonderful face.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all Life Files by Heather Bellamy