He Won’t Hesitate

Listen to the audio podcast of this message from Mat Koenig

He Won’t Hesitate

Does being ‘bold’ mean stepping out in faith?

Before I get into the message today I want to tell you a little something about me… I hate failing.

I get embarrassed by failing. I get so embarrassed that sometimes I don’t want to try again…so at times, my fear causes me to hesitate.

Am I the only one that has ever felt like that?

You see…I read something interesting in a devotional I was doing and it spoke to my heart.

This devotional I read started with these words… I’d rather slip, walking on water, than spend my life wondering “what if”…

I knew right away that I could NOT keep that to myself because everything good comes from God and this…was…so…good…so it wasn’t meant for me to keep to myself.

What a good way to start a sermon right?

What if…

What IF…Jesus is who He says He is?

What IF…God created us for a supernatural purpose?

What IF…God has a blessings waiting for us…but we’re so busy asking “what if” that we never step out of the boat?

What will we miss?

‘What if’ doesn’t get us out of the boat… ‘

What if’ can keep us from seeing the miracle…the grace, the love, the glory…

‘What if’… can cause us to hesitate…but Jesus won’t hesitate…and that’s what today’s message is about.

Let’s pray…God we gather together asking you to open our hearts and our minds. Let your Holy Spirit guide us in understanding your word. Lord give me the wisdom to communicate your Word, and please give those who hear, the grace to hear You…even when I don’t get it perfect. Let us all grow in wisdom through your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today’s sermon is called…HE WON’T HESITATE…

What if instead of using what if as a safety measure to justify our hesitation, we reclaim the meaning of ‘what if’…

What IF…all we have to do is take that first step in faith..like Peter taking that step out of the boat and onto the water?

What does stepping out in faith look like to us today though?

Maybe it’s taking a risk and applying for that job?

Maybe it’s reaching out to reconcile a relationship?

Maybe for you, stepping out means that you stop hiding your interest in Jesus from your friends…

You see, ‘what if’ can make us hesitate and when we hesitate…it can keep us from taking that first step at…

We can start thinking: ‘what if’ I take the first step and I fail?

What if I reach out to that old friend to try and fix the relationship and they tell me to beat it…pound sand…what if they hate me and don’t want to fix it?

What if I apply for the job and don’t get it?

What if my friends find out I’m learning about Jesus and they don’t want to be my friends anymore…

Man that’s scary isn’t it? It can be… It seems scary to take that step because…what if it doesn’t go how I want?

But what if I told you that the wrong kind of ‘what if’ question can lead us to the kind of hesitation that can lead to stagnation…doing nothing…or worse, the enemy can use the ‘what if’ to make us start questioning our salvation.

Like “God why don’t I trust you?

What if this means I don’t really have faith in you because if I did wouldn’t I be bold and step out confidently?

Oh God, what if this means I’m not really a Christian…what if I’m not saved?…”

What if I told you that fear, and hesitation can get the best of everyone at times…and that Jesus understands that… I want you to know today…Jesus won’t hesitate.

Not now and not during the what ifs…

Let’s look at that time Peter stepped out of the boat… In the book of Matthew, chapter 14 let’s read verses 24-28

It says “Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. [So we know they’re experiencing a storm right now…] It goes on to say… At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.”

So these guys who had been hanging with Jesus are literally freaking out. They wake up to a storm and now they think they’re seeing a ghost?!? How crazy is that?

But Jesus didn’t hesitate…it says…

But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

What I’m seeing here, [and I want everyone to understand] is that being scared is normal, God already knows that we are going to be afraid and Jesus wants us to have the courage to realize that he is right there with us…even in the storm…and even when we don’t recognize Him. Remember there was a storm going on here and they were ALL afraid, but it wasn’t until AFTER Jesus revealed Himself to them and said “courage, it’s me, don’t be afraid” that Peter felt bold.

It says…“Peter, SUDDENLY BOLD… [so he WASN’T BOLD AT FIRST…HE HESITATED WITH EVERYONE ELSE…but now he was suddenly bold], said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” ‭‭

I love how it says “Peter, suddenly got bold…” But did you notice something, nobody else around him got “bold”…just Peter.

But his boldness isn’t what caused him to step out in faith…was it? Let’s look what happened after he got “suddenly bold”.

It continues that Peter said, “Master if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” Peter’s boldness caused him to do what? To say ‘Jesus if it’s you…call me to do something great.’ Being BOLD didn’t make him take a step… Being BOLD made him look to Jesus for what he was supposed to do next with his life…

He didn’t want to mess up and step out on the water if it was some random ghost [because random ghosts were apparently common enough that it was their first assumption when seeing Jesus walking on the water LOL]. But seriously…Peter knew that stepping out was taking a risk and if he was stepping out in the wrong direction…well in this situation it could cost him his life.

Imagine stepping off the deck of a boat in the middle of a storm…before life jackets and coast guards and scuba diver, navy seal type rescues as seen on TV…

So in Peter’s newfound boldness he went right to Jesus for direction…

How many of us are in a storm…

How many of us are feeling like we need to make a move, a change, a new start…

How many of us are wondering “is that you calling me to this Jesus?”

How many of us want to be bold but we’re afraid?

It’s okay… It’s okay… Because you only have to be bold enough to say “Jesus…if it’s you…call me to come…” That’s what Peter said “if it’s you…call me to come” Call…me…to…come…

I love that Peter said “if it’s you…call me to come” Because Jesus didn’t hesitate… He said what?…He said, “Come ahead.” When Peter heard that affirmation from Jesus saying “come ahead”…basically Jesus said ‘you were bold enough to come to me…now you are free to take the step.’

Peter probably realized something that I want to help everyone realize. Peter likely realized at that moment…. “Jesus is walking on water! Freaking walking on water! And if He says it’s time to “come forward” then I can trust Him, and know that I’m taking a step in the right direction.”

If Peter can do that, I know that I can too.

I can too… Somebody say: I can too… C’mon…again say it: I can too…

Because you can!

When Jesus is calling us to ‘come forward’ we can do what He is calling us to do!

Peter knew that and deep down, and we know that too!

Jesus won’t hesitate when we ask Him for direction…

Say He won’t hesitate…

Now say I can too… I can too…

You see when we look deeper at what happened here Peter was never wondering if he could walk on water…that wasn’t his fear. He was just making sure Jesus was with him…so he could make sure he was about to make the right move…take the right step.

Maybe this isn’t a story of being bold enough to walk on water, and maybe it isn’t a sermon about how if we trust Jesus maybe we can do anything. Sure both of those things ARE true but maybe there’s another lesson in here for us all.

Maybe the real lesson is whether or not we actually trust Jesus enough to ask Him…is that you?

Maybe we’re afraid that he may say “come forward” and we don’t know if we’re ready to do that…

Maybe we have to ask ourselves…”Do I trust that Jesus won’t hesitate, even though I have?”

Peter said if it’s you, call me to come and Jesus said “come…” But the story didn’t end there with some cool sing a long song and all the disciples jumping out and dancing on the water like something of the show So you think you can dance… No that would be too easy right?

Jesus said, “Come ahead.” and then it says ‘Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus.’

SO PETER WALKED ON WATER, HE TRUSTED JESUS AND HE SAW THE MIRACLE!

But look at what happens next…

It says “But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, HE LOST HIS NERVE…[and what happened] Peter started to sink. PETER WALKED ON WATER, HE SAW THE MIRACLE, HECK HE WAS LIVING THE MIRACLE…but he stopped looking at the promise and started looking at the problem…he lost his nerve…and then he started sinking…he hesitated AGAIN…

Have we ever done that?

We’re walking with Jesus, we have the Jesus is my homeboy t-shirt, we’re singing his praises…and then something tough comes up and we hesitate…and we start to sink…can anybody relate to that?

Of course he sank, it makes perfect sense because we move toward the things we put our focus on.

When we focus on the problem instead of the promise…we will move toward the problem.

It makes sense.

The end of this story is actually my favorite part though. A lot of folks love the boldness and the stepping out part…but I love this part…

It says: He cried, “Master, save me!”

Master, save me…

So even knowing Jesus and walking with Jesus and believing in Jesus…Peter had a moment of doubt.

Can anyone relate to that?

If we’re being honest, we call can…right?

We know Jesus, we love Jesus, we’ve been walking with Jesus…

And then a pandemic hits…

And then we lost our job…

And then our business closed…

And then we lost someone we loved…

And then we start to focus on the problems instead of the promise… and we have doubts don’t we?

And then we hesitate to take a step…we get frozen by fear…

And we wonder if God will be there when we need Him…

But check this out… It says… “Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand.”

Peter walks on water, then gets overwhelmed with what was going on around him…I mean he was walking on water in a STORM so it makes sense…

Peter got overwhelmed and he CRIED OUT JESUS SAVE ME…

And Jesus, didn’t, hesitate…

You see, when WE cry out to Jesus he doesn’t hesitate with us either. Even when it’s scary…cry out, He won’t hesitate. Even when WE hesitate…HE won’t hesitate. Even when we have doubts and we feel like we’re sinking up to our necks and think we’re about to go down… He won’t hesitate to reach out…

Verse 31 ends with Jesus saying to Peter, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” ‭‭

Now some I’ve heard it said by some preachers that this verse is to teach us about how Jesus was rebuking Peter for his lack of faith. I have even hear on more than one occasion some make it seem like He was angry at Peter for not believing him by passionately quoting in New King James Language “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” and using this snippet of scripture as an example to follow up and say something to the effect that ‘when judgment day comes, you don’t want Jesus looking you in the eye asking why you don’t trust Him…ooooh no you don’t.’

But what if that’s not the point of what Jesus said to Peter at all.

See, when I read this, that angry guy the other preachers were talking about doesn’t sound like the Jesus I have been reading about here…The Jesus who “didn’t hesitate” to save Peter…

Jesus seems like He was asking a simple and logical question to someone close to Him. He was asking this question to a guy that had not only seen miracles for others but a man who had just seen a miracle for himself…a man who just walked on water! He was asking this question to a man who was not just a follower, but one of His closest followers, and one of His closes friends.

I think what He was asking Peter, He is still asking us today with tears in His eyes, love and tenderness in His voice… ‘you’ve seen my goodness in your life over and over…so why doubt me now?’

You may be facing some storms, and you may be scared, so so scared, and you just want to feel safe. I think Jesus wants you to feel safe too. I think He wants us to feel safe in knowing that it’s ok to be scared…because being scared doesn’t make you a bad follower of Jesus, it makes you a human…

And being bold doesn’t mean you know what steps to take…being bold means realizing that we need to say “Jesus, if this is a step in YOUR direction…tell me to come…”

Can I encourage you with some words that I hope will be a blessing to you…?

Focus on the promises not the problem… And if you have a moment where the problem tricks you into taking your eyes off the promise BE BOLD LIKE PETER and cry out to Jesus… Because He won’t hesitate to reach out to you, just like he did with Peter.

And if you feel your faith wavering, and it’s causing you to hesitate, please know this…you’re in good company…even the ‘rock’, Peter, hesitated again, that moment ON THE WATER, and then he summoned the boldness to say “Jesus save me”…

If you start struggling and start hesitating BE BOLD LIKE PETER and cry out to Jesus again… He won’t hesitate…

As you go into your week can I encourage you…can I challenge you even…ask yourself where do you need to ask: “Jesus, if this is going to bring me to you…tell me to come forward?”  

God thank you for showing us the example of boldness in Peter. God we admit that we have moments of doubt and moments where we hesitate but we THANK you that you never hesitate. We thank you that you reach out your hand when we cry out to you and we thank you Lord that when we ask “is it you, you don’t hesitate to say “come forward”. God we thank you for Jesus setting the perfect example for our lives and we pray that you give us the boldness to realize how much we need Jesus to help us live that boldness out. It’s in his name that we lift up these prayers to you… Amen

If you don’t know who this Jesus is that I’ve been talking about or He doesn’t sound like what you’ve heard before, can I please encourage you to get into the Bible. Open up to the Gospels, Matthew or John, and read about Jesus. Read about who he is, how He showed love to all of those around Him.

If you’ve been doing that and you are someone who is ready to start following Him with your life, now is a great time to do that. Now, there is no magic prayer that makes you all of the sudden ‘get it’ and there is nothing you can say to save yourself because Jesus did the work a few thousand years ago on the cross…but there is a way we can pray that will help you just get your heart started in the right direction so if you’re ready to turn that corner and make this the moment that you follow Him would you pray this simple prayer with me?

God thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to not only show me how to live, but also to be a living sacrifice that washed away all of my sins against you. God thank you for your endless grace and forgiveness. Thank you for saving me. I give my life to you God, in Jesus name I thank you. Amen.

If you’ve just prayed that prayer, can you let me know in the comments?

We would love to be praying for you so if you have any prayer requests, maybe you are praising God for some things He has done in your life, or maybe you’re asking God for some things you need…please email us so we can be praying over you and inviting others to pray over you too.

You can send us an email to support@jesusway.xyz 

Send us your prayer needs, please share your first name with us, and we’ll be sure to pray for you.

Thank you so much for listening, or reading or watching. Wherever you’re seeing this message…may God bless you, keep you, and may He make His face shine upon you.

Go and be bold in the peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.