The Risk of Faith

In Matthew 14, Peter takes one of the greatest steps of faith, both literally and figuratively, in the Bible when he walks out on the water to meet Jesus. Earlier that day, he had returned to Jesus after being sent out by Him with the other disciples (Luke 9), meaning they had taught others what He’d taught them. Then Peter saw Him feed the 5,000, so his faith was probably pretty high at that point.

Right up until he was on the water and saw how high the waves were.

Peter understood that faith requires taking a risk. He could not say He believed in Jesus to make Him walk on the waves if he stayed in the boat after Jesus said to get out of it. It was a risk of no less than his life, but it was a risk that strong faith necessarily requires.

When a trapeze artist jumps from one swing into another person’s arms, there’s some faith there, but there’s more faith in the net to catch her if he misses than there is in him. It’s only when there is no net that her faith in him can be said to be complete.

Likewise, having a true faith in God requires taking a risk. A faith that neither requires nor incites any action on the part of the believer is either a faith in an empty thing or an empty faith.

Walking with God is inherently a dangerous thing. He calls those who follow Him closest out of their comfort zones and to trust in Him more than their money, family, and abilities. He didn’t call His disciples to go to church once a week and live good lives. He called them to leave all, risk all, and eventually lose all to find and serve their All-in-all. I’m not saying God wants you to quit your job, but He wants you to be willing to if He tells you to. He wants you willing to take any risk for Him if He calls you to do so. As Aslan is described in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

God’s love is going to hurt you. It’s going to chip away at the sin in your life, test your faith beyond what you think you’re capable of bearing, and require more from you than you ever thought you had, so much more that He has to give you the strength and resources He then asks you to give back to Him.

The irony is that you are never safer than when you’re risking your all for Him. You may lose it all, but if you’ve given it to Him already, it’s already gone, and in exchange, you’ve gotten something infinitely more valuable: a faith that will cause you to get out of the boat when He calls you.

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