By Pastor Joe Balaan - Peter is one of the most prominent Bible characters, both in writing and by tradition. He is a fisherman from Bathsaida in Galilee. He was called by Jesus to be one of the 12 apostles. Aside from James and John, Peter was in Jesus’ inner circle. When Jesus died, Peter became the leader of the 12. One time, in the book of Acts, he preached and 3,000 people were converted. At times, while he walked, people were healed when touched by his shadow alone. So how did God use an unstable person like Peter in His kingdom?
Matthew 14:25-31 says, “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” This just shows the characteristics of Peter.
Peter was impulsive. He was not even sure that it was Jesus but he asked to walk on the water. At one time when Jesus was washing the feet of his apotles, Peter did not want his feet to be washed but thought otherwise when Jesus said that he will not have any part of Him if He does not wash his feet.
Peter always wants to be first, even if he does not know the end result of his decisions. But when he is in a shaky situation, his faith wavers, as in verse 30 of Matthew 14. He lost his focus on Jesus and he began to sink. One more instance was when Jesus told him that he will deny Him three times before the rooster crows. Peter was adamant and said of course not. But eventually, he did.
So how will God use a believer such as this? In Luke 22:31, it says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter has been with Jesus throughout the 3 years of His ministry, but his heart was not fully converted. So Jesus told him that when his heart has fully turnes to Him, he must strengthen his brothers in Christ. This answers the question why.
Peter was ready to venture in faith. He was ready to walk on the water even if he was not sure of what he was doing. There were 12 on that boat and only Peter was willing to walk on the water. He answered Jesus’ call and left everything when Jesus asked them to become fishers of men even if he was not sure how that will be done. Peter did not want a normal Christian life. He wanted his faith to be challenged. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” Are you ready to test your faith in God?
Peter was ready to step out of the boat, out of his comfort zone. There was no safer place than inside the boat, but Peter was willing to step out of it. Our faith always has challenges. The problem is we do not want to accept it. We forget that there is nothing impossible with God. Are you ready to get out of your boat? Do you want to experience the good ness of God or are you content to be safe in your boat?
So many Christians want to do big things for the Lord. But are you ready to step out into the water, out of your comfort zone?
When Peter stepped out of the boat, he lost a little faith and he sank little by little. But when he called on the name of Jesus, His hand was ready to lift him up. That only means that the hand of God is always ready if we only step out of the boat. We should not worry about failing because God is always holding our hand.
God is ready to use us if we are ready to step out of the boat.