Several years ago I took a flight that horrified me. I was taken off guard because I had been flying almost of my life and had never been fearful of flying. In the midst of a wind storm, the plain plummeted mercilessly. It would level off for a few moments and then shake and drop again. I prayed silently, and grabbed my husband’s hand as he tried to comfort me. It wasn’t much good because I just didn’t want to die that way. (I’m not scared to die, but there are just certain things that seem a little more frightening than others.) I gasped for air, nearly hyperventilating until I wept as the wheels hit the runway safely, resolved to never fly again.
I’ve often wondered how many of us can circumvent the areas where we are fearful to exercise our faith. What happens when we can’t avoid the areas where we are lacking in faith?
I often think about Peter walking on the water. Jesus said, “Come.” Peter responded in faith and walked out onto the sea. The scripture goes on to say, “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me” (Matt. 14:30). Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus, sees the ferocity of the wind and begins to sink.
During a storm or in the heat of the battle, we don’t want to be like Peter and lose focus. When we lose our spiritual sight and see only the bleakness of our situation, we will begin to sink. When we are fearful and sinking, Satan has a stronghold in our lives that ultimately can destroy us if we let it.
The good news is that we can rise above fearful situation when we chose to exercise our faith in the Lord. He is there for us and will never let us down. Notice that Peter calls Jesus in his distress, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
It can be so tempting to put our trust in family members, friends, doctors, pilots, etc. However, maintaining our faith in the midst of adversity is absolutely crucial to our growth and maturity as a believer. When we build up our faith in Him, especially through adverse situations, we can rest in Him (See Hebrews 4-13).
Trusting in our own efforts or anyone else’s can cause us to be in danger of turning away from the faith because our efforts are never sufficient. It also leads to anxiety, disappointment and depression. Only Christ can settle us and give us the peace and rest we all need to make it through stressful situations.
Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Peace that the world gives is fleeting because it’s only when there are no problems or conflict, which is an impossible state to stay in. However, the peace that Jesus gives to His believers is not contingent on whether conflict or problems are absent or present. His peace truly does surpass all understanding.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We can have God’s perfect peace regardless of the turmoil that might be going on in our lives. He can keep us centered, stable, and steadfast if we keep our focus on him. When he’s not just first in our lives, but the center of our lives, we can rest, knowing that he’s sovereign and got it all in control.
I’ve been on several flights since then. Admittedly, I still have to pray my way through, but I am determined to be totally delivered from the fear. I know that we have the victory over all of Satan’s attacks if we simply exercise our faith and know—we aren’t going to sink or plummet to the ground!
Why not share your testimony about how your faith gave you peace and helped you through an adverse situation? We are overcome by the words of our testimony! Drop us a line on the Abiding in the Vine Group message board or on www.MaRitaTeague.blogspot.com
Blessings and Peace,