All Posts Tagged: supernatural

Faith on Fridays—Faith and failure

Faith in Jesus makes up the Mechanics of Life.

The disciples were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s Me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter said, “Master, if it’s really You, call me to come to You on the water.” He said, “Come.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. He cried, “Master, save me!” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand.” (Matthew 14:25-31)

Peter was a crazy one. He saw things differently. He jumped out of the boat and walked on water. He experienced the supernatural! BUT, he failed! Like an undertow fear sunk him! Imagine the thoughts of the eleven, the normal ones in the boat!

This would not be the only time Peter’s faith failed. Fast forward a few months. It’s Thursday evening. The Last Supper is finished. Before departing for GethsemaneJesus said to Peter, ‘I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny Me three times.’ Peter answered, ‘I will never say that, even if I have to die with You!” You probably know “The Rest of the Story”!

Reverse the recording: “Jesus asked, Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered; ‘You are the Son of the living God.’ ‘Good for you!’ answered Jesus. ‘This truth was given to you directly by My Father in heaven. Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build My church’.” Jesus was going to build His enterprise on a person that failed! This makes no sense at all unless: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God.”

Michael Jordan, noted as the greatest basketball player of all time, said: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. I can accept failure. But I can’t accept not trying.” “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” (Meister Eckhart)

Yes, in this world faith and failure go together like “peas and carrots!” “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” (C.S. Lewis)

Check back next Friday as we continue our Faith on Fridays series.

Faith on Fridays—Faith and facts

Faith in Jesus makes up the Mechanics of Life.

Abraham went on hoping in faith, relying on the promise of God that he would become “the father of many nations.” With undaunted faith he looked at the facts: his own impotence and his Sarah’s barrenness. Yet he refused to allow any distrust of God to make him waver. He drew strength from his faith, absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise.  (Romans 4:18-21)

Many suppose that belief is contrary to reason, that to believe one must bury one’s head in the sand; you know, blind faith. After all, faith and facts don’t mix. Well, the story of Abraham and Sarah indicates otherwise (cf. Mechanics of Life). Note the words—“he looked at the facts.” The Greek word means: 1) to consider from the bottom to the top; 2) to concentrate by fixing one’s thinking; 3) to perceive clearly; and 4) to understand fully and closely. So, at least in the Manual faith looks facts squarely in the eyes; BUT ….

Consider the Law of Gravity, simplified. There’s a force that draws objects to the center of the earth … unless another object of equal or greater force intervenes to inhibit the downward thrust. If you throw a ball in the air, it will drop to the earth unless you catch it in your hands. Your hands act as a greater force than the downward thrust of gravity. Similarly, faith confronts facts with greater potency, rendering the facts weak, comparatively speaking.

These were the indisputable facts: Abraham was impotent and Sarah was barren. According to the laws of physiology the odds of having a child were ABSOLUTELY ZERO! “Yet Abraham drew strength from his faith, absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise.” When Old Abe was confronted by the downward thrust of the facts (impotence and barrenness), he injected the promise of Father that “he would become the father of many nations.” The power of faith trumps the laws of nature (review Peter’s water-walking.) Please don’t think this vulgar or crude (it’s reality according to the Manual!), Abraham’s insertion of faith produced physical insertions for twenty five years!

As is often the case, if the facts of your life are exceedingly downward, please consider: “Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope!” (John Piper)

Check back next Friday as we continue our Faith on Fridays series.

Faith on Fridays—Faith and foolishness

Faith in Jesus makes up the Mechanics of Life.

The boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and the disciples were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. (Matthew 14:25-31)

Founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, said this before his death: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

In this Gospel episode only Peter asked to do what Jesus was doing. Only Peter got out of the boat. Only Peter walked on the water.  Peter definitely was a crazy one. He saw things differently.

Yes, there were other “crazy ones!” (cf. Hebrews 11). Noah built a large boat on dry land with no water around. Abram prepared to sacrifice his only son. Moses rejected his Egyptian inheritance to invest his future with the slaves of Israel. Face it: they were all crazy! Supposedly, that’s how people of faith appear to those who are “normal”!

Erich Fromm captures the point: “To have faith requires the ability to take a risk. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life makes himself a prisoner.” The eleven, “safe and secure”, became prisoners of the boat, the natural and normal. Only Peter exhibited courage built on one word: “Come!” Only Peter experienced the “super-natural”!

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. I mean it.” (John 14:12-14)

Remember! Security is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of Jesus. (John Eldridge)

Check back next Friday as we continue our Faith on Fridays series.