In the New Testament, we read much about Peter, We read about him in the Gospels. We read about him in the Acts of the Apostles. His name speaks of both failure and triumph. Peter was a man who denied his Lord. He was a man who won thousands of people for his Lord.
In the story of Peter, walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), we see both faith and unbelief.
* In Peter, we see faith – real faith. While the other disciples hung back, wondering what to make of this mysterious figure, walking on the water, Peter launched out in faith – “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28). This was an act of faith – real faith.
* Peter’s faith was not perfect. His faith was weak. Nevertheless, it was real faith. His faith was mixed with unbelief. Yet, there was faith in Peter’s heart – faith that would grow strong as Peter learned to look to Christ, faith which would overcome the unbelief in Peter’s heart, faith which would win the victory. This is the faith we see in this story of Peter, walking on the water – a faith, which, though far from perfect, was ready to grow  strong in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Looking at Peter is like looking into a mirror. In Peter, we see so much of ourselves – our weakness and our vulnerability. More than that, we see a picture of our potential for faith, for growth, for glorifying God. In Peter’s story, we learn about what we are – and we learn about what we can become. Peter’s story is part of the gospel story. It’s part of the good news for us – the good news which tells us, “You can move from weakness to strength, from fear to faith.” Peter’s story is a story of transformation. It’s a story which tells us, “You can be transformed by the power and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Peter, we see a picture of our weakness. Peter could not walk on water. He had to call out, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). Like Peter, we cannot save ourselves. Like Peter, we must cry out, in earnest prayer, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).
In Peter, we see a picture of our vulnerability. He was sinking. He was going to drown. He had to call out, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). Without faith in Christ, we will sink and drown in life’s stormy seas.  When we are falling down into the wold’s way of thinking and living, when we are failing to stand up for Jesus Christ, we must call out to him, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).
We see Peter in his weakness and vulnerability, and we ask, “Why was he unable to walk on the water? Why did he start to sink? When we ask these questions about Peter, we’re also asking them about ourselves. Why are we so weak in our commitment to walking with Jesus Christ and living for him? Why do you and I sink so easily into a way of living that is self-centred, and not Christ-centred?
Why did Peter fail? Why do we fail? Peter failed because he forgot that Jesus had said to him, “Come” (Matthew 14:29). He failed because he took his eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ – “when he saw the wind, he was afraid” (Matthew 14:30). These are still the reasons for failure in the life  of faith. We forget Christ’s loving invitation, his promise of love – “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and i will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We take our eyes off Jesus. We look at the things that are happening to us, and we forget that we must keep looking to Jesus.
* Jesus says, “Come.” How important this is! When Jesus invites us to come to him, he gives us the strength to stand for him, and not to sink.
* Keep your eyes on Jesus. This is so very important. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” – and keep your eyes on him.
We are to look to Jesus at the beginning  of the life of faith.
We are to keep on looking to Jesus throughout the life of faith.
Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He is there at the beginning of our faith. He is there at every point in our life of faith. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Peter faltered. He took his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink. How did Jesus react to his faltering disciple? How does Jesus react to us when we falter?
* Jesus answered Peter’s prayer – his cry for help: “Lord save me” (Matthew 14:30). This is a prayer that Jesus will always answer – the prayer for salvation: “Lord, save me.”
* Jesus answered Peter’s prayer, but he, also, put a question to Peter – “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
Why did Jesus put this question to Peter? Is it to write off Peter as a man of unbelief? No! It was to strengthen Peter’s faith. Jesus drew attention to Peter’s unbelief so that Peter might say to Jesus, “Lord, you’re right. I am a man of unbelief. Please strengthen my faith.”
How is our faith strengthened? What does the story of Peter, walking on the water, teach us about the strengthening of our faith?
This story is not only about the strengthening of Peter’s faith. It’s about the strengthening of the faith of all the disciples – “And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
One believer is strengthened in the faith. Others also grow strong in the faith. What we see, here, is this – the strengthening of faith which takes place within the fellowship of the Lord’s people.
This strengthening of faith was is also a strengthening of worship. Where faith grows strong, worship grows strong. The strengthening of faith and worship takes place within the fellowship of faith, within the worshipping community.
As we worship the Lord, together with his people, we are strengthened in faith, we are equipped to face the storms of life without sinking. As we worship the Lord, we receive strength to face the world – not in fear, but in faith; not in confused uncertainty, but in the certain conviction that Jesus speaks his Word to us, just as surely as he spoke to his first disciples – “Take heart, it is I; have no fear” (Matthew 14:27). In response to his Word of love, we are to commit ourselves to him, to “live  by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:20).

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