TEXT: LUKE 22:31&32(AMP)
What does it mean for your faith to fail?
To fail – to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal. – Peter unsuccessfully walking on water
– neglect to do something.
cease to work properly; break down
desert someone or let down. – The man with the son in Mark 9
We have seen in the first part of this message that faith fails when hope is lost when hope is no longer present in a man’s life. We examined one of the definitions of fail which was to desert. Now we want to examine it in the light of another definition: “to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal”… In Matthew 14:22 – 30, there’s a story that illustrates this and enables us to see how someone can get to the place where their faith fails them.
After a hard day’s work Jesus told His disciples to go on a
ship and wait for Him on the other side. That is always the intention of God,
to take you and me to the other side. There’s always the other side, the better
side to what you are experiencing. The
disciples have just had what you might call a mountaintop experience; they have
been part of the miracle of multiplying five loaves and two fishes to feed five
thousand plus people. They are basking in the euphoria of that and Jesus comes
and says get into a ship let’s go to the other side, there is still more. And
you’re asking yourself what other experience can top this? It’s like when Jesus
sent them out in Luke 10 and they came back rejoicing and testifying, saying,
“Even the devils were subject to us in thy name.” Jesus said to them,
there is something more than this for which you are to rejoice, that your names
are written in the lamb’s book of life.” So whatever your experience has
been in life, there is something more for you, and it is in the eternal purpose
of God that you get to that other side.
Some people think that because everyone and everything turns against you along the way means God is not in what they are doing. If that were the case, then Paul must have missed God a lot in his lifetime. Nevertheless when things like this happen, confusion can set in. Did I really hear God, or was it just my mind. Did He actually give me a go-ahead to start this business, ministry, or get married to this person? Let me tell you, you are not the first to find yourself at such place and you won’t be the last. However you must understand, we don’t use circumstances to determine whether we heard God right or not. This is is because, in the midst of a storm, it is not likely you hear or see right. Except you can separate yourself from the situation while in the midst of the situation like Paul did in Acts 27:
“But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the
midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have
loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.” Acts 27:21 KJV
It was while this chaos was going on that Jesus walked
towards them on the water. Look at what the Bible said they said of Him:
“And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.” Matthew 14:25-26 KJV
He came to them and said, “Be of good cheer, it is I be
I interpret that to mean, yes you heard me right the first
instance. I gave you the instruction, I told you to do what you are doing. I
told you to embark on that journey. It is I, be not afraid. He spoke to
everyone on the ship, but only one person answered back. “Lord, if it be
thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” I used to think I knew why
Peter said what He said and that I also knew the focus of His request. You see
if you don’t understand this, you will not understand why his faith failed him
and he became unsuccessful in his goal of walking on the water to go to Jesus.
And if you don’t see it, you probably might make the same mistake tomorrow and
find your faith failing you too. But that will not be your portion in Jesus
When Jesus said it is I, be not afraid and Peter responded, Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. What he was saying is this, I am not so sure Lord and so I can’t just take it like that. So I want a more tangible, concrete, spectacular proof. “Bid me come unto thee on the water”. You have to do something more spectacular for me to know it is you Lord. It is not enough that I hear your voice or see it in your word, I need something more tangible, more spectacular, and supernatural. Oh! that you would rend the heavens and come down literally. Lord, if it be thou, bid come unto thee on the water!
At such times, the Lord comes down to our level and responds. Just like he did for Gideon when Gideon put out the fleece twice. And when he was still finding it difficult to believe, God sent him to the camp to eavesdrop on a conversation. He does that because we have a High Priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He has walked where you are walking now and He understands. You need to understand that if your faith cannot be just on the word of God and you need something in the natural to convince you after you have received it, the devil who is the god of this world can raise something more. and that was what happened to Peter. You see, his focus was not on Jesus, it was on walking on water because, his request was, Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. So the minute he started walking on the water, it should have convinced him that it was Jesus. But because his focus was on walking on water, after he walked, the devil made the storm wilder, that is what boisterous meant. If his focus was Jesus, wether, the wind was boisterous or not should not have disturbed Peter. To understand this better, let me take you to John 6:26
“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the
loaves, and were filled.” John 6:26
Jesus told those people there that the reason they are looking for him was not because of Him, it was because of their bellies. So the focus of Peter’s response was Experiencing the miracle of walking on water. He forgot the purpose of walking on water was to reveal Jesus to Him, so he experienced the miracle but never met the miracle worker. He got the gift and never met the giver of the gifts. He got the blessings but never met the blesser. He got the healing but never met with the healer. Is that not the story of some people and why they turn back from the faith? They come to the house of God but never met the God of the house. You see faith does not come by experiencing miracles, by being healed or by being blessed, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It comes by looking unto Jesus, the Living Word.
“[looking away from all that will distract us and]
focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first
incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for
the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross,
disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
[revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His
.” Hebrews 12:2 AMP
Peter’s focus was on the miraculous and so when the storm
became boisterous, when the storm became wilder, he became afraid and Bible
said he began to sink. Why, because when fear comes in, faith takes a flight.
“And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is
it that ye have no faith?” Mark
“There are two primary forces in this world, fear, and faith. Fear can move you to destructiveness or sickness or failure…but faith is a greater force. Faith can drive itself into your consciousness and set you free from fear forever.” NORMAN VINCENT PEALE
Faith and fear don’t stay in the same place. This is another
reason that faith can fail, when you become fearful. This because:
Faith is confidence in God, while fear is confidence in the
Faith and fear are equal and opposite forces.
Faith is the currency of heaven while fear is satan’s call
Fear is satan’s weapon for bondage. Faith is God’s weapon
Fear is faith that it won’t work. —- Mary Kay Ash
Faith liberates, fear imprisons
faith empowers, fear paralyzes
Faith encourages, fear disheartens
Faith heals, fear sickens
—————— according to Harry Emerson Fosdick
So when fear comes in, faith takes a flight.
Peter becoming fearful on seeing the wind boisterous,
confirms that his focus was not on Jesus but on the miraculous. This is because
the presence of Jesus is an antidote to fear and the fuel for faith.
“… focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and
Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings
our faith to maturity]…”
He is the one who brings our faith to completion, who
enables it to accomplish the set goal, who enables it to achieve the expected
end. “It is I be not afraid…”
Where He is present, fear cannot be present. And where faith is present,
fear cannot be present. So the presence of Jesus is the presence of Faith.
“It is I be not afraid.”
David confirms this:
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they
Again in the book of Hebrews:
“…for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me ?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 AMP
I pray for you that your faith fails not in these times that God strengthens you by His Spirit in your inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your heart by faith and that by it, that is your faith, you bring everything that is contrary in your life to its knees in Jesus name. That you bring every circumstance contrary to God’s word to their knees in Jesus. That you experience victory all around.