Your (Imperfect) Faith Is Enough [Brett Clemmer]

185
1

John 6:15-21; Matthew 14:24-33

How do you react when your faith is tested? Many of us start out feeling like, “I got this,” only to quickly wonder, “What was I thinking?” It can make you a little gun shy to take big risks for your faith. Peter probably had that exact feeling as he started sinking in the sea in the middle of a storm. But Jesus saved him and got him back to safety; and He’s there for us in those times of imperfect faith as well. Join Brett Clemmer as he reminds us that when our faith fails us, Jesus doesn’t.

Jesus Unleashed

Session 4: Your (Imperfect) Faith Is Enough

Edited Transcript

 

Brett Clemmer

 

Yeah. Hey, good morning. It’s great to be with you this morning, beautiful day here. I know we’ve got a visitor from the west coast, we’ll introduce … not introduce him, we’ll point him out later, but it’s good to be with you this morning. We’re in this Jesus Unleashed series. We’re talking about the miracles of Jesus that John talks about. In this Jesus series that we’re doing, we’re sort of going through the gospel of John. Right now in this sort of six-week Unleashed series, we’re talking about Jesus’ miracles, Jesus’ power as the son of God unleashed into his people when he was walking on earth.

Before we do that, I want to talk a little bit about a program at Man in the Mirror, really sort of the tip of the spear for Man in the Mirror, as we work nationally around the country, and really, part of the reason that I want to do this, is because we have so many people that watch the Bible study online. I don’t know if you knew this but the Man in the Mirror Bible Study is on a website, mimbiblestudy.com, and then it’s also podcasting, and then it’s also on YouTube. Our YouTube channel is very, very active. Across all those platforms, we have 6,000 people at least, watching one of the Bible studies every single week. It’s fantastic.

To all you guys that are out there, that are watching these Bible studies, welcome here, we feel like you as much a part of this Bible study as everybody is in this room. Let’s give those guys a hand. One of the things that Man in the Mirror does, in fact, sort of the thrust of what we do is we’re trying to equip leaders in the local church to be able to reach and disciple men more effectively.

In churches across the country, there are men, there are leaders who are a little frustrated, a little tired, many of you guys in this room have been leaders in your church, you’ve been men’s ministry leaders, you know what it’s like to try to get things going, and you can’t get enough guys to help you. Guys say they’re going to show up, they don’t show up, there’s really no strategy, or no plan. So what Man in the Mirror does is we find local men who want to have a career in men’s discipleship, and we come alongside those guys, we equip and train those guys, so that they can actually have a career in men’s discipleship.

Right now, we have 70 guys around the country, and we’re growing. We just added a few more a couple weeks ago. We have more interviews next week with guys that are interested. If you are out there, if you’re watching this Bible study, and you thought, “Well men’s discipleship would be a great career, but how can you actually do that?” There’s actually a way you can do that as a job, and we would like to show you how. Go to mimfieldteam.org, and read through the website there, and it’ll tell you about how you can become a Man in the Mirror area director. We would love to help you make an impact in local churches and help men be discipled.

Thanks guys for letting me share that this morning. We’re really excited about all the things that are happening out in local churches. We know for instance that when we work in a local church, that on an average year, that every church that we work with tells us that they get 15 new men engaged in discipleship. You might think, “Well 15, that’s not that big a deal.” Well think about 15 men in a church, think about 15 new men in your church who love their wives, who are leading their families, who are engaged at work with men around them, and sharing the gospel, and being a light in their workplace, being a light in their community.

If we can reach more, and more churches on a sustainable basis, we could spark a revival in this country, and that’s really my heart’s desire, is to see a revival sparked in this country, that doesn’t start in tents, it doesn’t start in stadiums, it starts in the hearts of men, and it’s going to come from the local church. That’s our heart, and our vision for men in America. Let’s talk about Jesus, huh?

Here we go, we’re going to talk about Jesus Unleashed. First of all, I want to tell you that right now, today, all around us, men are experiencing a terrible storm. When you look at what guys are walking into these days, with the confusion over gender roles, we’re still feeling the effects of the recession, and the economy, there’s a wage gap between skilled and unskilled labor, there’s people who are getting to retirement age, who are realizing that they don’t have enough saved up, there’s people that are approaching retirement age that are terrified that they don’t have enough to sustain a livable lifestyle, to take of their wives, to leave a legacy for their families.

When you look at the issues of sin that are facing men today, particularly when you look at the issue of pornography, and the prevalence of that, all the new studies are saying that children as young as five, and seven years old now are being exposed, not just to a picture in a magazine, but to hardcore stuff on the internet. When you look at the opioid epidemic that’s going on in this country, the fact the 116 people die from an opioid overdose every day, every day, that 11.5 million people are misusing opioids in this country. When you look at the suicide rates, the suicide rate for men is four times higher than the suicide rate for women, and the single highest suicide rate of all the demographic groups is men over 85, that’s the single highest rate of suicide in America. In England, suicide is now the number one cause of death for men under 50.

We are in a storm. The wind is blowing, the waves are rocking, and we’re in a storm. It’s no wonder in the midst of all of this that’s going on in our society, that anxiety is on the rise. I talk to people, I talk to guys a fair amount in my work here at Man in the Mirror, and I’ve had guys come to me, just even a couple just in the last couple months, who have said, “Nobody knows this, but I have terrible anxiety.” I’m like, “Well what do you mean?” They’re like, “No, like, like, like, waking up in the middle of the night sweating, like not being able to function sometimes, because I’m so worried, I’m filled with such dread.

“Physical symptoms, you know, my heart races for no reason sometimes, and I feel like it’s going to pound out of my chest. I feel like I can’t swallow. Sometimes I feel like I can’t talk. I’ve got all this negative thinking that’s going on all the time. I’m self-conscious. I just feel like everybody’s looking at me. I have fears of things that make no sense for me to be afraid of. I’ve driven to work 1000 times, or 10,000 times, and I get in my car, and I feel like I’m going to die on the work today.” That’s anxiety.

I got to tell you, that in this room right now, there are guys sitting here who are locked up tense because they don’t want to nod their head at all, some of these things that they’re experiencing too. It’s happening to men more, and more. We are in a time that is causing intense anxiety. The passage today that we’re going to look at points us to a storm, to a real storm, to a weather event that the disciples were caught in. This is probably one of the most famous stories in the Bible as a famous story of Jesus’ power, of Peter’s impetuousness. It’s the story of Jesus walking on the water. We see in this story, not just a narrative of an event, but really the story itself acts also as a parable. Now the story’s true, but there’s a lesson in the story that goes beyond what happened just in Jesus walking on water, and Peter getting out of the boat.

Since we’re studying John, let’s read the passage there first, and then we’re going to move over to the Matthew version of the story. This story is in three gospels. It’s in Matthew, Mark, and John. John and Mark sort of tell it in a very bare bones, straight forward manner, and then Matthew gives us a lot more detail. If you have a Bible, turn to John, chapter six, verse 15. Now, this is interesting, a lot of times in the gospels, the writers in the day that the gospels were written, when they wrote the gospels, or books like the gospel, they would write events, and they would not necessarily put the events in chronological order.

A lot of times they would group, and you see this even in the gospels, they’ll group similar stories together, because we’re very linear in the way that we think, okay? But back then, that wasn’t the way they thought. What they would really want to do, is they would want you to sort of organize your stories by topic almost. You see this in Matthew, Mark, and John in particular, Luke’s a little bit more linear, but this is interesting because all three accounts make it very clear that this story happens right after Jesus feeds the 5,000.

Sometimes you’ll see, here’s a story, and then the next verse another story starts, and the next verse another story starts, and you’re not sure if they’re connected chronologically, this one is. The Jesus feeds the 5,000, and then in verse 15, “Perceiving then, after he had fed the 5,000, that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”

Jesus is … he’s just fed the 5,000, and he’s worried that the people, because he’s done this great miracle, the people are going to surge, and they’re going to make him king. Remember they … we know what happened like in the triumphal entry, they were looking for a king, and so this is sort of a theme throughout this time period. The Romans had occupied Palestine, and so the Jews really, really did want to be out from under their rule.

He gets away from them, ’cause he doesn’t want them to make him the king, or try to make him king. He goes up on the mountainside, “And when evening came,” verse 16, “his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed three, or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.”

That’s smart, that’s the right thing, right? See a guy walking on the water towards you, fright is probably the appropriate response. “But he said to them, ‘It is I, do not be afraid,’ and then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” So John is giving us sort of an overview of the story, remember John is writing the latest of all the gospels, this is probably 40 years after this story actually happened, and John’s giving his account as part of him telling the gospel.

Let’s move over to Matthew. Matthew’s writing much closer to the event, and with a lot more detail. Let’s read this, a little bit of a longer passage, “Immediately, he made the disciples get into the boat, and go before him to the other side while he dismissed the crowds. After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time, was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. In the fourth watch of the night, he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It’s a ghost,’ and they cried out in fear.

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the water,’ and he said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water, and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and began to sink. He cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ And Jesus immediately reached out his hand, and took hold of him saying to him, ‘Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the winds ceased, and those in the boat worshiped him saying, ‘Truly you are the son of God.'”

Let me pray for us, and then let’s look at our outline for this morning. Father, as we read these passages, as we read the story of your disciples who were so amazed at the miracles that you did, they were emboldened by them, they were encouraged by them, and motivated by them. As we look at this story of you walking on the water, and of Peter walking on the water with you, Lord, would you speak into our hearts, and show us how you are with us in the storms, and how we should respond, how we should be like Peter, and how we should not be like Peter. Father, I pray that you would just open our hearts and minds to your word, your living word, and speak to us Lord today, in Jesus name. Amen.

All right, so the title of today is Your Imperfect Faith is Enough, Your Imperfect Faith is Enough. We’re going to talk about Jesus’ perfect power, and then we’re going to talk about Peter’s imperfect faith, and then we’ll talk about what’s your storm, what’s my storm that we’re dealing with. The first part of this is, Jesus’ perfect power.

JESUS’ PERFECT POWER

If you look at this passage, Jesus’ perfect power I think teaches us some lessons through this passage. You see three miracles in this passage, right? Not just one, but three. The first miracle you see is that Jesus walks out across the sea to the disciples. The second miracle that you see is that Peter gets out of the boat, and Jesus makes it possible for Peter to walk on the sea. Then the third miracle that you see, is Jesus gets back into the boat, and the winds stop, and the seas calm down. Now, is this the first time that Jesus has calmed the wind and the sea? No. Actually, if you go a few chapters earlier in Matthew, you can actually a time when they’re all in the boat, the boat’s a rocking, the winds blowing, the storm’s crazy, and Jesus is asleep in the boat.

The disciples are basically like, “Yo, wake up. We’re all going to die.” Jesus wakes up and goes, “Oh, geez, stop it.” The wind stops, the sea gets calm, and he goes back to sleep, basically, a little paraphrase. They’ve already seen him calm the sea before. They’ve just seen him feed 5,000 people. Then, I mean honestly, should they really be surprised when he comes walking across the water towards them? Now, let’s give the disciples a break here, right? The wind is blowing, they’re probably trying to … probably holding on for dear life, they’ve been rowing, it says three or four miles in John. Anybody ever rowed a boat? Like, 100 yards is not fun, okay?

I went on a men’s retreat with our church once, and they thought it would be awesome fun to … do you remember this, in the sea kayaks? We went out on these sea kayaks, these morons that told us that it would be fun, and so we get on these sea kayaks, and we’re rowing down off the Keys, and I swear, we rowed for what, four days? I mean, it just, it was terrible. We got back, and we’re ready to kill them. I mean, they disappeared by the time we got back, because they realized how dumb it was.

Rowing three, or four miles, these guys are exhausted. Jesus comes walking out on the water. Let’s talk about what is the lessons that Jesus’ perfect power teaches us? Well the first one is that Jesus’ perfect power can be frightening. Seeing your savior walk across the water is a frightening thing. How do we know that? Well, look verse 26, “It’s a ghost.” They’re terrified, and “It’s a ghost.” But the second thing that Jesus’ perfect power teaches us is that Jesus’ perfect power brings calm in the storm. Before the storm subsides, Jesus’ is bringing … he says what? “Do not be afraid, it’s just me.”

Now, notice he does not say, “It’s me, you’re going to be okay.” He just says, “It’s me. I’m here.” Like that’s enough. Peter sees him, and Peter’s Peter, okay? “If it’s really you, call me out on the water.” So Jesus says, “Come on Pete.” Here’s the interesting thing, that Jesus’ perfect power can handle our doubt. Jesus doesn’t look at Peter and go, “Well, if it’s me, why don’t you get out of the boat and see, bucko.” Right? “I’ll show you power,” Shoop!. If it had been me, I’d a let Peter sink, and then I would have brought him up on top of the water, right? “Ha, ha. Got you.” But Jesus doesn’t do that. He calls Peter out of the boat. Jesus is okay with Peter’s doubt. He recognizes that that’s probably a normal response to have.

Then in verse 29 we see that Jesus invites us to experience his perfect power with him. He says to Peter, “Get out of the boat. Take a leap of faith. Step out onto the water.” So Peter gets out of the boat, and he’s looking at Jesus, and as long as he’s looking at Jesus, he’s walking on the water. Jesus’ perfect … I mean there’s sermons on these three, or four versus, sermons, and sermons, and sermons. But for now, let’s just remember that Jesus’ perfect power says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. I’m here.” Then the next thing that we do see then is we see Peter’s imperfect faith, right?

PETER’S IMPERFECT FAITH

One of the things that Peter’s imperfect shows us is that courage is not enough, boldness is not enough. Peter got out of the boat, and as long as he was looking at Jesus he was fine, right? But then, it’s an interesting … I was reading the passage again last night and this morning, and it struck me, it says, “Peter saw the wind.” How do you see wind? “Peter saw the wind.” Well, he saw the wind, and saw is experienced. He experienced the wind. He gets out of the boat, he’s looking at Jesus, everything’s cool, then all of a sudden he’s like, “Wait a second. I am standing on the sea in the middle of a storm. What is going on?” And he gets distracted from Jesus, and starts paying more attention to his circumstances than he’s paying attention to Jesus.

The moment that he stops focusing on Jesus is the moment that he starts to sink. It’s the focus of our faith, not the volume of our faith, not the strength of our faith. Here’s what happens to us sometimes in the church, and as Christian men, we actually begin to have faith in our faith. I have to believe enough, if I believe enough, then good things will happen to me. If I believe … No, it’s not believing enough, it’s believing in Jesus. The object of our faith is the important thing, not the strength of our faith. If it’s the strength of our faith that matters, then all we’ve done is just turn the gospel back onto ourselves again. We become self-reliant all over again.

It’s like, if I have a chair, and I say, “Well, I have faith in this chair,” I can have a little faith, or a lot of faith in the chair, but my faith in the chair has nothing to do with whether this chair is going to hold me up. The chair has to do with whether the chair’s going to hold me up. I think a lot of times, we think that if we just believe enough, that everything’s going to be okay, or, more often, we think that because we’re not okay, it means we don’t believe enough. It’s not about believing enough guys, it’s about what you believe in. It’s not about having enough faith, it’s about what the focus of your faith is.

Peter loses focus, and then he starts to sink, and Jesus grabs him … It’s funny, I was talking to somebody about this passage this week, and I said, “I’ve always had the impression that like Jesus grabs him, and then Peter sort of gets back up on the water, and they walk back in the boat together.” But that’s not what the passage says. Basically, the passage says, Peter starts to sink, Jesus grabs him, and gets him into the boat, doesn’t say how. I think this is where probably Jesus kind of kept him, maybe kept him in the water again. Then he says to him, “Why did you doubt? Why did you doubt oh you of little faith?”

Now, I’ve read some commentaries on this, and they say Jesus chastised Peter, “Why did you doubt?” I don’t think … I think he was laughing at him. I think he was amused. I mean, if you look at the way that Jesus interacts with his disciples, I mean, these were his friends, these were his brothers, they hung out. Jesus called Peter Satan once. They went at it, but that’s what brothers do, right? Anybody have brothers.

It was all sweetness and light with your brothers, right? No, I mean you go at with your brothers. So Jesus looking at him like, “You knuckle-head. Why’d you doubt? It’s me. I just fed 5,000 people. I’ve already calmed the storm before, what more do I need to do to get you, just …” So Peter has the perfect response when he starts to sink.

Go back up to verse 30, and he says this, “When he started to sink he said, ‘Lord, save me. Lord, save me.'” Last year, at Man in the Mirror, we went through a time, as every non-profit does, where every week I would get a cash-flash, we call it a cash-flash, and it was, this is how much money we have available to pay bills, this is how much bills we have, and then this is how much we’re going to have after we pay the bills.

I would say last year, probably 20 weeks out of 50, that number at the end of the week was negative. I got a couple board members in the room, and they went through that with me too, because I would let them know. Like, come on guys. Every week, at the end of the week, God would have brought in everything we needed to pay every bill that week, never missed a payroll, never reduced positions, never paid a bill late, that’s crazy. God just provided. In those times, Pat and I would have these conversations, and God is gracious, and in God’s grace, when one of us was doubting, the other one was strong. I’ll be honest with you, usually Pat was the strong one. But I got to be the strong one some weeks.

We would just remind each other that we are doing what Jesus is telling us to do. We’re being obedient to Jesus’ call on our lives, and on our ministry, and so we’re not going to obsess about where the dollar’s going to come from every week. I mean, we were diligent, we got out of the boat, but we kept our focus on Jesus, and we just said, “All right, Lord, this is your ministry, if you want it to succeed, you’re going to provide what we need, and if you don’t want it to succeed, there’s no better way to say it’s not going to succeed than not giving us the money we need,” right? That’s the easiest way to send a message frankly.

Every week God just built our faith, and built our faith, and built our faith, and built our faith, because he provided every week exactly what we needed. But the week’s that were the highest anxiety weeks, were the weeks that I was rushing around trying to figure out, can I move this expense over here? Can I talk to this person? Can I call that person? What can I do to make this okay? Those are the highest anxiety weeks. But the weeks that I said, “All right Lord, this is yours, this is your ministry, it’s not my ministry. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do. I’m going to be responsible. I’m going to be diligent, but I’m not going to be anxious about it.” Those were great weeks.

At the end of every week, I would be like … I’d look at our finance director Sharon, I’d say, “Hey, we get everything paid this week?” “Yep.” Be like, “How?” Sometimes she’d go, “I have no idea.” She’s the one giving us the cash position at the beginning of the week, “I have no idea,” but God was faithful. As long as we focused on him, the anxiety was minimal.

Lord, save me. Peter didn’t go, “Oh, man I got to figure out, maybe I need to walk differently, or maybe I need to have a life preserver on, or maybe I should just swim out to Jesus, that’ll be cool. I’ll just swim out,” no, no, no, “Lord save me. I’m going to die if you don’t save me.” The focus of his faith, so that’s our Big Idea, right? That the focus of my faith, is more important than the quantity of my faith. I’ve never understood really, I mean, I act like I understood it, but I never truly understood this whole thing about if you have the faith of a mustard seed, right? It’s because the size of your faith isn’t important, it’s the focus of your faith.

You can have just barely a grain, I mean, have you seen a mustard seed? It’s tiny. You can have just a grain of faith, but if your faith is in the right thing, then that faith is enough. Your faith doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be in the right thing. Remember to say, “Lord, save me.”

So What’s your storm?

What’s your storm? Is it your health? Is it your marriage? Are there relationships that are rocky? Are you trying figure out if you could even keep your job, or how you’re ever going to find another job? I talked to somebody this week, whose sister in her 60s just unexpectedly lost her job, now she’s like, “What am I going to do?” I talk to guys all the time that … especially guys in their 60s … I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to … like 65 is a joke, retirement? That’s crazy, right? I mean I want to work till 70, 75, right? Which makes sense now saying that, but when you get closer, and closer to that age, and you got to start over again, that’s a scary thing, that’s a high anxiety thing. Lord, save me.

You’re going to do a resume and you’re going to send out applications, but it’s what you put your faith in, not how much faith you have. My encouragement to me, and to you guys is in these times is to not focus on the storm. The storm is a distraction. The storm is a distraction. In Matthew 13:7, just one chapter before this chapter, we see the story of the parable of the sower. If you remember, Jesus talks about three things that keep the gospel from taking root in your heart, and the third thing, the third soil that the seed goes in, that keeps the gospel from taking root is the thorns, and the thistles soil. The thorns and thistles grow up, and they choke out the seed of the gospel.

Then everybody leaves, and the disciples are sitting around with Jesus, and they’re looking around, you can see them looking around, making sure nobody can hear them, and they go, “Jesus, we didn’t get. Could you please explain the story to us.” It’s what is in there. So Jesus explains the parable and he says that third seed, the thorns, and the thistles, those are the worries and cares of the world, and the deceitfulness, the deceitfulness of wealth, those things are a distraction, and they keep you from the seed of the gospel taking root in your heart. The storm is a distraction, we need to focus on Jesus. Lord, save me.

Guys, we all have storms. We all have things that cause anxiety in our lives, and in our hearts. What are those things? How can we take our focus off of those things, and put those things on Jesus? I’m going to tell you a couple things that will help you do that. One, is prayer. I’m going to give you a list of 10 things, the first eight are prayer, okay? Then being in the Word every day, every day, I don’t … somehow, go use the Man in the Mirror devotional app, you’ll get a verse every day from us. Open your Bible up, get it on your phone, it’s everywhere, I mean, you know? Put a Bible in your bathroom by the toilet.

Then the third thing is, is you got to have brothers. There were people in the boat with these guys. There’s a group of them there. Have brothers that will keep saying, “Man, focus on Jesus. Focus on Jesus. Focus on Jesus. These things will get you there.” You’ve got questions on your handout, so we’ll break here for about 20, 25 minutes for questions, and then we’re going come back, I got one final thing that I want to wrap up with you.

All right, so do you see people around? Do you see anxious people around you? I don’t mean around you at your tables. Like, do you see people that are anxious around you? What’s it look like? Yeah, look in the mirror, right? Yeah.

When you see people around you that are anxious, how do you know? What does that look like?  They’re stressed out.

Acting out of character, that’s good. Say that again.

Speaker 8:           Losing your faith. Losing the confidence of keeping an eye on Jesus, like when Peter took his eye off Jesus, he started to sink.

Brett Clemmer: Yeah.

Speaker 8:           That happens to a lot of us.

Brett Clemmer: Yeah, so he said, losing your confidence, you know, like Peter, you take your eye off Jesus, you start to sink, and it becomes like a cycle, right? You’re in a storm, you’re in a struggle, so you take your eye of Jesus, the struggle gets worse, and then in your brain, you’re like, “Well, I can’t rely on Jesus,” which you’re actually not doing anyway, but … right?

But then you don’t want to look to Jesus, or even worse, I don’t know if you guys do this, but I do this, sometimes when I’m in a struggle, especially if sin doesn’t cause you anxiety, then there’s something wrong with, okay? Just letting you know that. If I’m in a struggle with sin, and my sin’s causing me anxiety, then I’m ashamed to go to Jesus. So I don’t take my eye off Jesus because I’m really confident in my own strength, I take my eye off Jesus ’cause I’m ashamed to look him in the eye. Those are the times that Jesus most says, “I got you.” Right? “Come on.” That’s the most when I need to say, Lord save me.

Guys, when you’re struggling with a persistent sin, with a pernicious sin that you just can’t seem to get rid of, the only appropriate response is those three words, which are what? Lord, save me. Lord, save me. I think sin is one of these areas where we all try … We figure, “Well if I can defeat this sin, then I can live my life for Christ.” Instead of recognizing that living your life for Christ, living your life with Christ, relying on him, is the very thing that you need to defeat the sin in the first place, and that Jesus takes you before the sin is defeated, not after, because if he only takes you after the sin is defeated, first of all, you’ll never get there, but even if you do get there, it’s not because of him, it’s ’cause of you. Then you’re just going to think you don’t need him.

If that’s causing you anxiety today, if there’s a sin in your life that’s causing you anxiety, man, even more than any other kind of storm you could be going through, it’s so important to say, “Lord, save me.” What are the things that guys are scared of? What keeps us up at night? Failure, that’s good.

Children, what about your children?  Yeah, their failure, right? Or your failure as a dad. That’s good.

John Anderson: Wife snoring.

Brett Clemmer: Your wife snoring keeps you up at night. That was John Anderson who lives at … no just kidding.  What? Can I get an Amen on that one actually? All right, so what distracted Peter?

Brett Clemmer: The waves, why did the waves distract Peter? Why?  They were threatening, right?

It’s not abnormal, it’s not irrational for you to get out of a boat in a storm and pay attention to the wind and the waves, that’s not an irrational thing to do at all. It’s just not helpful, right? Guys, when we are in the midst of anxiety, when we’re in the midst of a problem, of a storm, it’s normal to focus on the storm. You don’t need to feel guilty about focusing on the storm, you just need to recognize it’s not helpful. The storm needs to subside and become secondary to the focus that we have on Jesus. Lord, save me. Say it with me, Lord, save me.

That’s what I hope you take out of here today. Let me pray for us, and then we’ll be dismissed. Father, save us. Lord Jesus, save us. We live in turbulent times. We don’t always feel like our feet are solid underneath us. Sometimes we do know that our culture doesn’t really want us to be men even, and so we just don’t feel like we’re standing on solid ground. So, Lord would you help us to focus on you? Would you help us to not pay so much attention to the trouble that we’re in, but Lord, rather that we would pay attention to you, and let you pay attention to the trouble?

Father, in your word it says, Peter reminded the church that you care for us, that you love us. Peter said, at the proper time you would exalt us, and so we can cast all our anxieties on you, because you care for us. Lord help us to cling to that promise. Go with each of us Lord as we leave here, as we go out, back into the things that are causing storms in our lives Lord, but help us to remember that our faith is about the focus of our faith, not the strength of our faith. Make our faith strong Lord, by making it focused on you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have a great week guys, I love ya.

Below you’ll find three options for downloads including a handout for the lesson (.pdf), an audio-only version of the lesson (.mp3), and a full video of the lesson (.mp4). To save them, right-click and select “Save link as…”

1 COMMENT