The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 1: Peter – Put Out Into The Deep!
You can only really trust God when there is no other help available.
Just imagine being Peter. You are exhausted from cleaning your nets after a hard and fruitless night’s work. Jesus comes by and borrows your boat to speak to the people and then suggests you go back out to fish during the day! Understandably, he was reluctant. He was a professional fisherman, not just a pastime fisherman. He knew the when, where and how about fishing and going then was pointless!
Nevertheless, he summoned up enough humility to do what Jesus asked and was then overwhelmed by the miracle-sized catch of fish!
Putting ‘out into the deep’ suggests going where you are no longer in charge. You are outside your comfort zone – a place where you have to depend totally on God. Peter found that as he did that in total dependence upon God, God honoured his trust and obedience.
It’s the same for us. It’s not until we get to the end of ourselves that we really begin to know and understand God. You see, God is not human, nor is He the ‘genie of the lamp’. He is not there just to make me happy and to get me out of the messes I keep getting myself into. He is the Holy Almighty Creator of the Universe. He longs for us to trust Him and to live in obedience to His will for our lives. The problem for us is that we are self-centred and control freaks.
Yet it is not until I submit totally to His will and His way that I truly begin to live. I will never experience miracles if I forever submit to living my life my way and for myself. As Jesus said, He who would keep his life will lose it. He who loses his life for My sake shall find it.
Peter would say to us today...
God wants to teach you to trust Him in every circumstance of life. That means He will take you where you feel uncomfortable and scared. But it is so that your capacity to trust and live in peace will grow. Beware it never stops. Just when you think you have ‘cracked’ ‘trusting God’, He will lead you into an even more challenging experience!
Father, thank You that You are trustworthy! Thank You that I can read the Bible and see how faithful and patient You are. Thank You that not only were You faithful and patient with the people then but You are equally faithful and patient with us, with me. Please help me to trust You more – in every circumstance of my life. Amen.
Psalm 34; Habakkuk 3; James 1:2-28.
What circumstances have you experienced which have caused you to trust God more?
Why do we try and avoid ‘ putting out into the deep’?
How do we convince ourselves that God is Trustworthy?