Do you ever have the feeling that you are sinking deeper and deeper into the sea of sin, doubt, despair and discouragement? Do you feel that you are in the midst of a storm and there is no end in sight? The Apostle Peter understood the storms of life. He also experienced sinking deeper and deeper into the sea. Let’s join Peter and see how he handled his sinking deeper and deeper into the sea.
The disciples are in a boat in the midst of a storm. Jesus comes to them, walking upon the water. He tells them: “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. (Matthew 14:27) Jesus always desires to calm our fears even in the midst of the greatest storm in our lives.
Peter asks the Lord if he also could walk on the water. Jesus answers with one word: “Come“. Jesus wants us to join him in the adventure of faith. Peter enters into the water, and he begins to walk on the water; however, the scriptures say: But when he saw the wind boisterous; he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried , he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30
What are some causes of Christians sinking spiritually in the midst of the storm?
1. Sin causes us to sink spiritually. Peter could have thought; “Look at me, I am walking on the water. What is wrong with those others?” Peter’s pride could have caused him to sink. When sin enters into our lives, we are no longer secure in our walk with Christ. We let go of His guiding hand; so that we may go in our own direction. There is nothing but danger when we walk separate from Jesus.
2. A lack of faith causes us to sink spiritually. After Jesus delivers Peter from the sea, He says: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:31) Peter sees the waves and the winds and decides that they have greater power than Christ. Often, we allow our doubts to destroy our faith. As a result, we soon sink into discouragement and despair.
3. Difficult circumstances cause us to sink spiritually. Peter has begun his great adventure in faith, but he sees the wind and the waves. They are terrifying, and he feels as though he has no hope. Difficult circumstances make us forget that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He is the Master Potter and we are the clay.
4. Wrong priorities cause us to sink spiritually. Peter begins well. He leaves the boat and heads for the Lord. However, he becomes preoccupied with the wind and the waves. We have all experienced times in our lives, when we put our relationship with Lord on the back burner of life. We know that He is with us, but we become preoccupied with other things in this life. Wrong priorities lead us on a dangerous pathway away from our Lord.
The Cry of the Sinking Believer
Peter sees that he is in a very desperate situation. His life is slipping away. He could try to save himself, but this would result in disaster. He responds with a cry out to His Lord Jesus Christ. “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:31)
We can describe Peter’s cry in three ways:
1. It was a desperate cry. Peter knows that death is near. He has only one hope. Likewise God is waiting for our cry of desperation to Him. The Psalmist wrote: “This poor man CRIED and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)
2. It was a cry of faith. Peter calls out to the Lord in faith. He knows that the Lord alone can save him from sinking to the depths of the sea. Faith is believing that the Lord hears our cries and that he will respond. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me.” (Psalm 34:4)
3. It was a cry based on his knowledge of Christ. Peter knows that the Lord can save him. He knows that the Lord is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving. As we know the Lord in deeper way, we can cry out to him with greater confidence and freedom.
The Deliverance by the Loving Lord
Jesus hears Peter’s desperate cry and he immediately responds: “And immediately Jesus stretched form his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14:31-32)
Yes, there will be times when we seem to be sinking deeper and deeper. All hope seems lost, but Our Lord is waiting for us to cry out to Him. His hand is always ready to pull us back out of the tempest.
“Dear Lord, there are many times that I seem to sink deeper and deeper into sin, despair, or discouragement. My circumstances seem too difficult to bear. Help me, to learn to cry out to you in the times when I am sinking. Thank you for always being ready and willing to pull me up from whatever is causing me to sink. Amen.”