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Faith For Rocky Times

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In this sermon, we examine the remarkable transformation of Peter from a faltering follower to a pivotal leader in the early church. Despite his imperfections, his story is one of hope, showcasing that our flaws don't diminish Jesus's patience with us nor disqualify us from being part of His grand design.

“The Christian life always undulates on the way to greater Christlikeness”, and Peter personifies this most notably among the disciples and apostles.  

Key Points:

  • Doubt does not disqualify one from God's plans, as seen in Peter's journey where his moments of doubt did not prevent him from becoming a key figure in the church. Jesus doesn't use Peter's moment of doubt to write him off rather in His abundant grace, He keeps him close.

Matthew 14:29-33 NIV

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

  • Our imperfections do not exhaust Jesus's patience. Peter's story illustrates that despite flaws and failures, Jesus remains patient and merciful.

Psalm 86:15 NIV

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. 

The faithful need not despair, since they have no grounds for worry that God will abandon them to enemies because of their sins: God is merciful and gracious, and therefore his faithful ones can trust him to forgive and to guard.

  • Restoration is complete in the resurrection. Peter's denial of Christ, followed by his reaffirmation of love and commitment, showcases the full restoration that comes through Jesus.

 1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

  • The everyday ordinary can be used for eternal glory. The sermon reminds us that ordinary, unschooled individuals like Peter were used mightily by God, highlighting that one doesn't need to be an expert to have a significant impact for God's kingdom.

Act 4:13 NIV

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus 

Discussion Questions

1. How do you relate to the notion that our faith can be both rocked and grounded at the same time? Discuss a time when you experienced this in your own life. (Matthew 14:29-31)

2. The sermon highlighted Peter's journey from an impulsive disciple to a foundational leader. How does his transformation inspire you in your spiritual walk, and what steps can you take to emulate his growth? (Matthew 16:17-18)

3. Consider the idea presented in the sermon that our imperfections and doubts do not preclude us from playing a crucial role in God’s plan. Share a personal experience where you witnessed or experienced God's patience and grace in spite of imperfections. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

4. Discuss the concept of having a "rock-based faith during rocky times" as mentioned in the sermon. What does it mean to have Christ as our rock, and how can we maintain this steadfastness in times of trial? (Psalm 18:2)

5. The sermon speaks of Peter being restored by Jesus after his denial. How does this act of restoration impact your understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation in your own relationships? (John 21:15-17)

6. The sermon encourages us to see the potential for eternal glory in our everyday lives. How can you apply this perspective to the seemingly ordinary aspects of your day-to-day activities? (Colossians 3:17)