Continued from here.
Pastor Ashley also made the observation that Peter’s faith faltered because of the atmosphere around him. As if stepping out onto water was not daunting enough, his feet sought to walk on a body of water that was stormy, with the waves crashing against him and the wind whipping him. This atmosphere was a distraction from his faith, leading him to doubt and sink.
Pastor Ashley pointed out that we are responsible for the atmosphere surrounding us, and the best way to change that atmosphere is through praise and worship. Amen to that! I have been living this reality for a long time now. In fact, God had led me to meet with him in prayer followed by praise & worship three times a day – first thing in the morning, midday, and then before bed.
I have been starting my day with God (the first hour) for years now, and I noticed that it was easy to hold onto my faith in the mornings. No matter what storms hit me at work or in my personal life, I could rest in the stability of a God who loves me and is in control. However, by midafternoon, I was much more susceptible to becoming unstable in my faith. Why? Because I allowed the atmosphere surrounding me to change. Too much time had passed since I filled up with the Living Water in the wee hours of the morning, so the storms of life that could not touch me before lunch had the ability to shift my focus from Jesus to my problems in the afternoon. The antidote has been engaging in prayer, praise, and worship after lunch to provide me with the stability I need to maintain my faith throughout the afternoon. This is what Daniel did, which is how he managed to maintain his faith in the lion’s den. If we want Daniel-type faith, we need to do what Daniel did and maintain an atmosphere that focuses on our God rather than on our problems.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace standing under a dark cloud with lightning and pouring rain. Courtesy Bitmoji.]