Turn Your Struggle into Strength for Yourself and Fellow Believers. To stumble and struggle is not a sign of weakness but growth! When you are fighting through your doubts and fears you are finding a greater strength in the Lord and deeper trust in His power over your own abilities. The absence of struggle is the absence of growth. Allow the Lord to use your stumbling to strengthen your faith and the faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ today. Return to Him every time and say again Lord I love you and you know that I do!
Stumbling in our faith and our faith failing are two different events. Luke 22:32 records the words of Jesus to Peter as Jesus explains to him that Satan is going to cause Peter to stumble. As Jesus was being put through a false trial that led to His unjust murder, Peter was watching and denying the fact that he even knew the man. Jesus told him ahead of time that this would happen and that He was praying for Peter and his faith, that his faith would not fail. As in after Peter had stumbled, he would get back up dust himself off and continue to follow after his Lord. Even though Peter denied Jesus three times that fateful night, his faith did not fail. The Lord Jesus came to Peter and restored his confidence in his love for the One who saved him.
Jesus restored Peter for a purpose. A purpose that Jesus gave to him even before that night. Jesus told Peter that after he had “turned again,” that is came to his senses and realized that Jesus is worthy of his everything, Peter was to “strengthen our brothers.” The job Peter had been given was to help his fellow followers of Jesus not fall into the pit he had fallen into. That pit of doubt, of self-pity, of shame and defeat. Peter had to keep on trusting, keep on following, keep on moving forward even after all he had been through, in fact I would say that Peter was in a better position than before to do this now that he knew what it felt like to stumble and doubt the Lord.
Had Peter not denied Jesus, this head strong over confident Apostle may have gone on believing that his success depend on his courage and ability rather than on the sacrifice and strength provided by the Lord. He stands as a warning to all of us today to not put our trust in ourselves but in Jesus. Jesus is the One who we trust to get us to heaven not our own abilities or strength. The Lord is the One who will win our victory not our strategies or self discipline. Faith follows Jesus, it does not attempt to lead or help Jesus out, which is what Peter had tried doing on several occasions and unfortunately he had not heeded the warnings his Master had given him.
Faith follows Jesus through the most impossible situations but faith never believes our victory is due to our own ability or worthiness. This is the lesson I want us to draw as we finish out Joshua 3. Imagine being one of the priests who stood in the river as Israel passed by, which one of them could take credit for the waters that stood up in a heap to allow the nation to walk through on dry ground? Not one of them. Picture yourself as Joshua, how could Joshua possibly brag about how he had provided a way across the flooded Jordan river? He could not, he could only relay the Word of God and lead his people according to God’s Word not his own. Or even one of the people who walked across, what credit was due them for this amazing feat? All they did was walk across a dry river bed. Faith follows the Lord who shows the way and provides the victory.
Faith does follow though. Consider the people, which one of them could claim to trust the Lord but stand on the other side of the Jordan river and refuse to walk across? You cannot claim to follow the Lord if you are standing still refusing to move. There is no such thing as frozen faith. Faith compels the believer forward into the Lord’s Will according to His Word for our lives. God is amazing! His salvation is such that we do nothing to earn it yet we still have to trust Him to receive the blessing from HIs hand.
Allow your faith in the Lord to set you free from worry and doubt today. You are not responsible to fix all the problems in this world. The job you have been given is to simply put one foot in front of the other and do what God has called you to do. Tomorrow is out of your hands and in the One whose eye is on the sparrow. You worry about how you can be faithful in the situation you find yourself in on this Friday. And even as you stumble, know that Lord Jesus has prayed for you, if you want to know what He prayed for you read John 17. As you turn again from your doubts remember to strengthen your fellow believers in Christ. Join together with them this Lord’s Day was we encourage and lift each other’s eyes back up to the Author and the Finisher of our Faith.
Let us pray today that God would give us grace to trust His plans and His will for our lives even as the world grows darker and more worrisome moment by moment, knowing that He has provided the victory all we have to do is walk across that river!