He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
Big Risks Lead to Big Rewards
I recently took a very big risk. I was and still am a bi-vocational pastor and worked for a foster care agency, but I turned in my notice not too long ago and stepped out on faith. I couldn’t keep working 50-60 hours a week. I have a family with a precious wife, children, and grandchildren, and they are my first earthly priority, but I also help run a prison ministry and a nursing home ministry as well as write for several Christian websites. Oh yeah, I pastor a church, too. I thought that my body would not endure another year of this, so I quit my job, took a huge risk, and then stepped out with shaky feet of faith onto the proverbial water. I can’t lie to you. I was afraid, much as Peter must have been when he first stepped out on the water in faith (Matt. 14:29). It was only when he took his eyes off Jesus that he began to sink (Matt. 14:30). But when he cried out to Jesus, we know the rest of the story. Jesus reached out his hand, took a hold of him, and saved him (Matt. 14:31). I felt like I was going to sink, too, believe me, but in God’s providence, He reached out, took a hold of my hand, and kept me from sinking. I took a big risk, but oh what a great reward it led to.
Trust the Lord, Not Your Eyes
Solomon was right: We must trust in the Lord with all of our heart because if we lean on our own understanding, we’ll fall (Prov, 3:5). We must keep our eyes upon Jesus or we’ll never be able to step out in faith. Solomon spoke about risk when he suggested that we throw our bread upon many waters and then we’ll find it, but not until after many days pass (Eccl. 11:1). This proverb speaks of putting riches or goods onto a merchant ship, sending them out, and waiting many days for them to return with other goods and services but with no guarantee. Sometimes the Phoenicians or marauding pirates would capture the ships; you’d never see it again, and all would be lost. But if you cast your bread upon many waters–suggesting that if we take risks in several circumstances or places–it’ll return to you, but not right away. It’s a matter of trust to take risks for God’s glory, but there are no great rewards where there are no great risks.
What Will You Risk?
When was the last time you took a big risk for God? Our church is one of the poorest and smallest in our town, but we took a risk and made a pledge of financial support for one year to a ministry that supports prisoners who get out and need a new start. This prison ministry shelters them; finds them jobs; helps them get an education, a driver’s license, and insurance; and then helps them get a used car. We made the decision as a church to take a risk for doing the Lord’s work, which we think is helping those who are in prison, as Jesus sees it as doing it for Him (Matt. 25:37-40). We help prisoners behind bars but also those who are freed, and we trust God in providing for our church so that we can support the directives of doing unto Jesus what we do for others (Matt. 25:34-36). What was the last big risk you took for God? Leave a comment and tell us.
A Closing Prayer
God my Father, Your Son paid the greatest price of all to redeem me, and I should be willing to trust You with everything I have. Help increase my faith and lack of trust in You when I decide to take great steps of faith. Only then will there be great rewards, so for Your glory, let me trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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