by Joshua Goodling
In Matthew chapter 14, you can find the story of the Apostle Peter and his encounter with true trust in God. Peter was in a boat with the other disciples out on the stormy sea. They saw Jesus walking on the water towards the boat. Peter called out saying; "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." Jesus replied; "Come". And so Peter got out of the boat and began to walk across the water toward Jesus.
However, if you read the story, you'll see that the sea was rough and stormy that night and Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. He called out for help, and Jesus caught him by the hand and pulled him safely out of the stormy water. Jesus' response to Peter's reaction to the stormy waves was, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?".
Peter was absolutely fine walking on that stormy water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. It wouldn't have mattered if a category 5 hurricane had come along - as long as he kept his eye on the Master and Creator he would have been absolutely fine. His problem was, he took his eyes off of Him - He didn't absolutely trust.
The same is true with so many people in today's world who claim to be Christians. You ask them if they are a Christian, and they reply; "Oh yes - I believe in God." But let some difficulty or trouble come in their lives and you'll find out how much they DON'T "believe" in God.
You ask them how they are getting along and they say something like; "Oh...I'm making it. But just barely."
It's kind of ironic how we can claim to trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and depend on Him for our lives for all of eternity in Heaven, but we can't trust Him to help us through the financial difficulty, the overload at the office, or the family squabble that is bothering us or getting the best of us.
The Bible says that if we really trust Him, we won't worry about this life or the things of this life.
Of course, we must trust Him completely and obey Him to have the peace and joy that He promises to give to those who trust and obey.
In the mid 1800's George Mueller lived in Bristol England, where he started an orphanage for children. He completely trusted God to meet all of his needs - and never complained to another person or asked another person for any financial assistance in taking care of the orphans. Yet, God miraculously supplied every need and took care of him.
The story is told of many times when there would not be enough food in the orphanage to feed the children for a certain day. Yet, George Mueller and the staff would have all of the children dress and get ready for breakfast. They would come down and sit around the tables in the dining area and pray for their meal. There would be a knock on the door and upon opening the door, there would stand someone with food enough for the entire orphanage saying "God told me to bring this food for you this morning."
Now, Mr. Mueller could have done like many of us would have done and stressed long and hard about there not being enough food. We would have thought; "Well, I guess I might as well just close down the orphanage - I can't handle all of this stress." However, George Mueller always completely trusted Almighty God when He said in His Word; "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:32, 34)
In the early 1970's a man called Brother Andrew smuggled Bibles and Gospel literature into communist countries. If you read his biography you'll find many stories of how he trusted God in spite of looming disaster or trouble.
He tells a story of when he had his Volkswagon Beetle filled with Bibles, which were illegal to bring into communist East Berlin during that time. As he sat in his car at the border crossing, waiting to go through, he watched the border guards literally taking apart the car in front of him, removing seats, checking all of the body panels for hidden compartments, and taking almost an hour to go painstakingly over the entire car.
Now, most people I know would be sweating bullets and thinking, "It's just not worth it...I may end up in prison." But, all Brother Andrew did was pray and ask God to let him and his Bibles through.
When the guards waved him to pull forward, he did so. The guard looked at his papers and stamping his passport said; "Go ahead." He was through in a matter of seconds. As he pulled away, he saw in his rear view mirror as the guards told the driver of the car behind him to get out so they could search the vehicle.
If you personally know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you serve the EXACT same God who told Peter to come to Him on the stormy sea. The EXACT same God who supplied all of the needs for George Mueller's orphanages. The EXACT same God who blinded the eyes of countless border guards so Brother Andrew could smuggle his Bibles into communist countries time and again.
To get all stressed out and worried about the "problems" we face on a daily basis is to simply say "God can't handle this for me - I need to do it on my own." We're just like Peter taking his eyes off of Jesus when we do that, and we begin to sink. We get stressed, we get discouraged, we get disappointed - and we feel we can't handle all the pressure and toils of life. And you know what - that is exactly true - we CAN'T handle it all. However, if we trust God and obey His Word - We DON'T HAVE TO!!!
Philippians 4:19 tells us; "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
When I was a sophomore at college, I didn't have much money at all. In order to take your exams, your bill for that semester had to be paid. My parents had sent the college the money to pay my bill, but because they didn't have much money either, they had sent it so it arrived a couple of days late, and now there was an additional $5.00 late fee. I didn't have the $5.00 to pay the fee, and so if I didn't get it before my first exam, I wouldn't be able to take the exam.
I could have stressed and worried and gotten all worked up about it. But, I simply prayed that God would take care of this for me.
I went back to my dorm room and there laying on my pillow was a blank envelope with a $5.00 bill inside of it. To this day, I have no idea who placed that envelope there - but I learned that GOD WILL SUPPLY all of our needs and will take complete care of us when we learn to trust Him and obey His Word.
So, the choice is simply up to us - do we trust Him and have no need to worry about anything? Or do we go on with our life of stress and worry and trouble?
If you do not have a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ - then you do have much to worry about. However - you don't have to continue life like that. He calls to everyone; "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).
Some people may argue; "Yeah, but I know all kinds of people who claim to be Christians, and they stress and worry just like everyone else." The answer to that is quite simple - they are just like Peter. They don't completely trust - and they take their eyes off of Jesus.
The Christian life isn't just some "religion" that we practice when we feel like it. To experience the Christian life the way it was meant to be experienced, it MUST become a way of life to us. Only when we fully trust Almighty God and have that personal daily relationship with Him can we fully know what it is like to have Peace and Joy.