Focus: Basing my faith on my position in Jesus Christ, not on the way I feel
Scripture: As you read Matthew 14:22-33 consider God’s gift of faith to you. Ask Him to strengthen your faith in Him.
Have you ever felt you couldn’t’ pass the faith test? You’ve prayed, read your Bible and fasted, yet you still lack faith. What you’re experiencing may have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with feelings.
Today we will take a look at the reality of faith and how our feelings can divert our attention from Jesus.
CONFUSION DURING THE STORM
Peter had walked with Jesus long enough to experience His love, tenderness, and mighty power. He had listened intently to the parables about the farmer sowing his seeds, the mustard seed, and the net full of fish. He had seen Jesus miraculously feeding the 5,000 people who had followed Him. Peter experienced many miracles in the presence of Jesus, and the Master gave him authority to drive out evil spirits and heal diseases. How then, after walking on water in those first few steps of faith, did Peter lose sight of Jesus and begin to sink?
What are some great events you have experienced during your walk with the Lord? Circle all that apply. Add others you think of that aren’t listed.
The birth of a baby a loved one saved a sunrise
Unexplainable peace answered prayers joy in the midst of trials
Deliverance from sin divine guidance other __________
Can you, like Peter, testify to God’s goodness in your life? Yes or No
Can you also identify with Peter’s experience of focusing on the storm around him. Instead of keeping his focus on Jesus Yes or No
Notice I said, “Peter’s experience of focusing on the storm” and not, “Peter’s loss of faith.” Faith is a product of the spirit. Romans 12:3 says God has apportioned faith to each of us. If you are a child of God, it is in your spiritual nature to have faith.
At times, however, you might confuse your feelings with your faith. Satan used doubt and unbelief to make you think you have to work hard to have faith. And when you just can’t seem to work hard enough, he tells you your faith is lacking. The problem is not your lack of faith, its Satan seeking to destroy your faith with lies.
BASING FAITH ON GOD’S WORD, NOT ON FEELINGS
God provided Amy with a new job. He gave her the desire, the faith, and the ability to do her work well. She knew when she accepted the job that it was a gift from God.
Now things are happening that make it difficult for her to enjoy her work as she once did. She is beginning to doubt and question herself, wondering if she really heard from God in the first place. Is this really the job He has for her.
Describe an experience when you knew God was speaking to you.
Did you later wonder if you really DID hear Him? If so describe how you felt..
God places dreams and visions within your heart. When He gives you a particular calling, He will also give you the desire, faith, and ability to carry through. He may call you to start a new job, teach a Bible Study, or begin a family. Whatever God has called you to do in faith, whether it’s trusting Him with the life of your child or trusting Him with your finances, He wants you to know that he has your best interest at heart. He provides for your every need.
JEREMIAH 29:1 “For I know the plans I have for you.” Declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Place a check besides the statements you believe
o God loves me.
o God wants the best for me.
o God will never leave me.
o God’s will for my life is best.
Remember your study of Abraham in week 1? God make him a promise and many years later he had not seen the results. However, Abraham stood in faith. He must have been attacked by doubts and unbelief, but according to Scriptures he stood steadfast and unmovable. “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God” Romans 4;20
During his time of awaiting and watching and hoping that God’s promise would come to pass. Abraham kept praising and giving glory to God! As he did he grew stronger and became empowered. Perhaps, unlike Peter, who place his mind on the storm at hand instead of focusing on the Master, Abraham just praised God and gave God glory for who He was!
Place an X on the line indicating to what degree you are like Peter or Abraham.
DON’T BE THROWN OFF COURSE
Storms, doubts, and confusion can intimidate you. In times of trail, feelings are unpredictable and unreliable. But choosing to have faith in God has little to do with how you feel! Don’t allow feelings of worry, doubt, and confusion to keep you from experiencing the peace God wants you to enjoy as you rest in His presence.
Let’s look once more at what Abraham did when the wait got long. “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God” (Romans 4:20)
List two circumstances you’ve prayed about and given to the Lord many times but still haven’t received an answer for.
Are you willing to keep praising God, giving Him glory as you wait it out?
Yes or No
As you close today’s study, start your prayer time with this prayer:
Dear Father, My heart’s desire is to trust You. I’m determining to praise You as I wait for You to show me how You are working in this situation. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You – not on my doubts and confusions. May I bring glory to You as I wait before You. I love You.