Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
“You’ll never win

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Casting Crowns “Voice Of Truth”

Simon Peter is sometimes referred to as the apostle who could put both feet in his mouth, with room left to wiggle, and often did. This gives those of us with the same tendency hope. While reading the Bible I often get a mental picture of Andrew shaking his head in disbelief and wondering if he should even claim Peter as his brother.

If this is the only way we think of the Apostle Peter we are doing him and ourselves a great disservice. There is much we can learn from the life of Simon Peter. Threes seemed to run through his life. I’d like to look at one of the things he did three times.

Luke 5:4-6, 8-11 “When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”

This was the first time Simon Peter stepped out on faith and got out of the boat.

Matthew 4:20 says, “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

The Bible shows that Peter believed Jesus to be the Messiah, but didn’t fully understand what that meant until much later. Still, he didn’t make excuses, try to put Jesus off, or (my personal favorite) say, “Brother, I need to pray about it.” If we have an idea there is nothing wrong with praying about it; we should. But when God wants us to do something saying, “I’ll pray about it.” is a copout. Peter got off his behind and followed our LORD “immediately”.

Then he did it again.

Matthew 14:25-31 “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?””

Now, that’s faith! Notice it says he came down out of the boat. It wasn’t some little rowboat, out of which he stepped. It was a fishing vessel, probably quite large, and the Sea of Galilee isn’t your local lake. Because of where it’s situated, it can get very rough and stormy. Yes, he started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus, but “immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him”.

Isn’t it nice to know that, when we start to sink, Jesus hand will be there to catch us “immediately”?

Peter did get “back in the boat” after the crucifixion and his denial of Christ, along with some of other apostles. They were frightened, discouraged, and hurting.

John 21:2-3 says, “Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.””

They didn’t get to stay long though. The thing that would change their lives and their faith was about to happen. They would turn from fair-weather disciples into the great apostles who would die, for their LORD.

John 21:4-7 “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.”

Peter left the boat for the third and final time. Notice the progression. The first time he left it sitting on the shore, the second he climbed down, and the third he leapt out.

Where are you in your walk with God? Are you still only leaving the boat after it reaches the shore? Are you still laboriously climbing down, off your piousness, to meet Jesus? Do you leap joyfully to meet him? Or are you sitting in your comfort zone trembling, watching someone else take all the risk?

LORD God, give us the faith to plunge.