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Faith: To Glorify God

Updated on August 4, 2014

Would've, Could've, Should've

Graveyards are likely the wealthiest places in all creation. Beneath that sod lie countless unsung melodies and unwritten poems—books never written, tales never told.

Our meticulously landscaped burial grounds reek of unattained successes and unrealized aspirations. When we visit them, we are actually strolling past the rotting remnants of hopes and dreams that never made it from the blueprint stage to the launching pad.

Every cemetery overflows with brilliant ideas that could’ve transformed communities with the power of sacrificial service—risk-taking ventures that would’ve provided hope to the lost lie moldering in the graves. Every marble orchard stinks to high heaven with the stench of would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves.

These are the things that would’ve been done, could’ve been done, and should’ve been done if believers in Jesus Christ had lived their lives with a sense of purpose much larger than themselves—a Kingdom purpose.

Would’ves, could’ves, should’ves—these are what would’ve been done, could’ve been done, and should’ve been done if individuals had gotten out of the boat.

Take a new look at a familiar story.

Matthew 14:22-33 - NIV

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

 One of the marks of spiritual
 maturity is the quiet 
 confidence that God is in
 control--without the need
 to understand why he does
 what he does.

 God incarnate is the end of
 fear, and the heart that
 realizes that he is in the
 midst will be quiet in the 
 middle of alarm.
       ~F.B. Meyer~

 The great thing to remember
 is that, though our feelings
 come and go, God's love for
 us does not.
         ~C.S. Lewis~

Unchanging Beacon

There’s always a necessity for us to discover or rediscover some things about where we are in our relationship with God. One reality we must always bear in mind is that God has a plan for us and it is good.

Context is everything, so we must properly frame the above Scripture passage: The disciples had just been involved in intensive happenings. They had to deal with the questions and ragged emotions unleashed after receiving news about the execution of John the Baptist.

Immediately afterwards, even while in the midst of the grieving process, they were thrown into a ministry situation. They had to serve 5,000 people, and the only food they had was five loaves and two fish.

The clamor and expectations of life are draining at times. Knowing this, Jesus decided that it was in the best interest of the disciples to get away for awhile. They needed to be refreshed while strengthening their connection to God and to each other—Jesus also sought to be alone with the Father.

Jesus set an example for us. When pressures mount and threaten our equilibrium, we are to heed the call to practice the discipline of solitude. It’s at times like this that we often resist God—we feel that he doesn’t understand the tensions of our lives. He doesn’t get all the deadlines and commitments demanding our attention.

No matter how vital or important any of us think we are, God’s Word stands as an unchanging beacon. All other courses must be altered to him. If God’s plan for us is good—which it is whether comprehension filters into us or not—shouldn’t we implement it in our lives?

Proverbs 3:5-6 - NIV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Comfort & Security

As God directs our paths he will lead us and empower us to overcome any hindrances. This is seldom easy—faith and discipleship is quite often extremely hard labor.

Spiritually speaking we are to be putting our shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone, with an ironclad guarantee that God is holding up his end of this mystical partnership—he is at work within us. God wants his perfect will for us more than we can possibly desire it.

Catch something symbolic here in the text: As Jesus sends them away he finds a place that overlooks the lake—the Sea of Galilee is surrounded by mountains that slope to its shores.

It’s no stretch of imagination to think that while Jesus was alone, he could see his disciples struggling against the wind as he prayed for them to respond to the howling weather with faith.

Is this reflective of our life today? God knows everything about us—God sees everything that we go through. These are two characteristics of God that ought to bring us great comfort and security.

God is omniscient, which simply means that he knows everything and nothing ever, ever takes him by surprise. We will be astonished, shocked, or bewildered by the twisting turns of life, but not God—no curveball circumstance is unforeseen by him.

Here’s where we must take note of II Peter 1:3—His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

God has already provided everything we need to respond to the upheavals of life in ways that honor him. This brings us to a second trait of God that should increase comfort and security.

God is omnipresent—God is everywhere present. God is there even when we don’t sense his presence. God is there during our darkest hours and most difficult decisions.

Ever wonder if our choices would be different if we carefully placed the weight of these truths about God’s character into the balance of our lives?

God's Timing

Based on his eternal perspective, God’s help is always on time.

In our anchored to the world viewpoint, there are plenty of occasions when we think his timing needs vast improvement. Why does God sometimes delay? Why did Jesus take so long to get to his disciples?

When God doesn’t hit our timetable, he’s got his reasons—which he certainly isn’t required to clarify for us, though we can easily get into a snotty snit and expect a point by point, play by play explanation.

Here’s where applying God’s character to our lives is extremely helpful. Consider the story of Jesus and his friend Lazarus.

Lazarus got sick and died. Lazarus had two sisters with whom Jesus was also close, so it was reasonable for him to hurry to the village of Bethany. Yet Jesus waited two days after hearing about the death of Lazarus before he went to console Mary and Martha.

Why did Jesus tarry? Scripture is clear—his delay was so that God would be glorified. That’s the ultimate mission of our lives, isn’t it? According to the Westminster Catechism our “chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Often we don’t understand or accept slowness in God—we want answers and action now, thank you very much.

However, we are compelled to nurture patience, and in the waiting there is opportunity to be schooled and trained. To bide one’s time while uncertainty swirls is rarely accomplished with ease, but it’s where we can glimpse God’s character.

It can also be the point where a thousand watt lightbulb gets switched on within us, which generates the grit to embrace those attributes of God—omniscience and omnipresence—and in the process, glorify him.

Grasping hold of what God is doing can be difficult and nigh unto impossible at times—in those prickly places we must persevere and sweat it out, believing God to be God. We must deliberately keep his divine power and our knowledge of him in the mix: God’s intention is always for cultivating growth in us.

The Creator of the universe doesn’t give us a test with all the answers. Nor does he allow windstorms or upsets into our lives without providing a touch of the supernatural in the middle of those raging disturbances. God will grant us peace.

Psalm 131 - NIV

My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.

Walking By Faith

We ought not to concern ourselves with all the whys and wherefores of what God is doing or allowing in our lives. Instead we should humble and quiet ourselves before him, proclaiming loudly and with absolute confidence that the LORD is our hope both now and forevermore.

We all have troubles that come into our lives, and the potential outcome of each one has a divine design. When Peter shed his earthly security blanket, he experienced tremendous lessons about the nature of God and the wonderful mystery of walking by faith.

How many of us hold onto security blankets—we can deny it, but the evidence and verdict is in: We cling to our security blankets with the fierceness of a grizzly.

What ought to continually motivate us is this: When we’re planted in some boneyard, how will our epitaph sound? Will it be an accumulation of big talk and best intentions—would’ve let go of my security blanket, could’ve put faith into practice, should’ve got out of the boat, BUT all the would’ves, could’ves, and should’ve got buried with me.

Or, will we live with urgency and be overwhelmed by a Kingdom purpose? Will we get out of the boat—will we walk on water by trusting God to be God each step of the way?

Will our life of faith glorify God?


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    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      mangruu - Thank you for your kind words. Blessings & much encouragement to you.

    • mangruu profile image

      mangruu 6 years ago from Palikir, Micronesia

      So far this is the best hub, beautifully written, and powerfully encouranging us of the faith. As a new user, I shouldn't say longer than three lines.Excellent work

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      RTalloni - Thank you for stopping in & sharing thoughtful comments. Your perspective is much appreciated. Blessings.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for these encouraging reminders.

      A willingness to arrange ourselves under God’s Word is always blessed by Him for He is faithful to His Word, but we do have to get out of the boat. When I think of the ways I have failed my Lord oh how poignant is your sentence, “Ever wonder if our choices would be different if we carefully placed the weight of these truths about God’s character into the balance of our lives?”

      Thankfully, to the humble and contrite heart He is a merciful God, willing to continue teaching, growing, sustaining, and calling us to draw ever closer to Him through His Word.

      When we pick and choose Scripture verses or phrases to suit our own thinking we are in as much trouble as when we ignore His Word. It is the whole counsel of the Word of God that we want if we hope to avoid a crooked path.

      So thankful for hubs that direct all people to embrace God’s Word with their whole heart and mind for doing so is our need no matter what point we are at or what is happening at any given time in this life’s journey.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      lone77star - Thank you for stopping in & sharing. Your thoughtful words are much appreciated. Blessings.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Excellent and profound!

      And could it be that while Jesus prayed, he asked for a storm so that they would have this opportunity?

      And Peter's faith was profound, for a few moments.

      I too have experienced profound faith, creating miracles that confound scientific explanation. And yes, to glorify God.

      I think it's time for more miracles. So, we'd all better get busy doing them. In that act, we find the humility required for true salvation, and without which the master of this world--ego--persists.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      allpurposeguru - Thank you for stopping in & sharing thoughtful comments. Appreciated this line of thinking a great deal: ". . .they were as clueless as anyone since."

      Walking by faith is a lifelong challenge to be sure. Peace, blessings & encouragement to you.

    • allpurposeguru profile image

      David Guion 7 years ago from North Carolina

      It amazes me that so many people scoff at faith as some kind of crutch, when consistently walking by faith is one of the hardest things anyone can do. Sometimes, I think that it would be easier if we could see and talk to God, but the disciples could when he took on flesh, and they were as clueless as anyone since.

      You have put together scriptures I don't ever remember seeing together before, but it all comes out the same, doesn't it? If we insist on seeing, we can never walk by faith. And that makes faith so scary that we turn away from it. We Christians need to remind ourselves, each other, and anyone else who will pay attention, using any scripture to comment on any other scripture, that the way of faith is the way to life.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      skye2day - Thank you for your strong words of encouragement. I'm glad you stopped in & shared. Peace & blessings.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hello Brother Beautiful hub of love. Holy Spirit moving in and on you bro. This is written in words that are truth and fresh living water of Jesus. It is not always easy but with Christ all things are possible. Keep on Ken. I pray many are led to this reminder of who we belong to and who we are in Christ. He will never leave nor forsake us. Never

      Check out window washer. You will enjoy Merry Christmas ken. Much Love and hugs

      Up and Beautiful

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      AM - Thank you for your kind & generous affirmation. Your words & comments are a great encouragement to me. Take care.

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 7 years ago from West Allis

      As usual, another fantastic hub on faith. Hope this isn't getting too old hat for you, all these glowing comments and vote ups! It's truly a message that cannot be told too often. As you showed us, there are so many examples to set our feet on the path of faith - and once we start walking, we alone must have the courage to keep our eyes on Him and Him only. He's always there and yet always on time, even when we are waiting on Him. Such a mysterious conunudrum for the faithful to explore and marvel at. Peace

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      destiny357 - Thank you.

    • destiny357 profile image

      destiny357 7 years ago

      Great Hub I voted up and beautiful!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Dave. Nice line, ". . .in the drink." Blessings.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Ken: As Jesus points out to Peter, "Faith" in Jesus will lift us up and hold us so that we can do the impossible, but take your eye or your thought elsewhere, and in less than a second you can find yourself in the drink.

      Brother Dave.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Faithful Daughter - Thank you. Blessings.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Piper Day - You're welcome. Thank you for stopping in & sharing. I'm glad you enjoyed the visit. Blessings.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      heart4theword - Thank you for you kind encouragement. It is much appreciated. Blessings.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evi Lopez 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Words of wisdom. Great hub!

    • Piper Day profile image

      Piper Day 7 years ago

      I found your hub very meaningful. It is good to know that there are stuff on the hub pages that folks can stumble upon and be blessed by. Thank you for your part in creating those stuff.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      You've summed up many thoughts and feelings...I've shared here on hubpages! This is a great read:) Your writing, just flowed through this page:) There still are some things in life, we may not understand till we meet JESUS one day? Encouraging hub, Ken R. Abell!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      CMerritt - Thank you. Your words of affirmation are much appreciated. I'm glad you stopped in & were blessed by the visit. Take care.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Dusty. Good words--real good words. I especially appreciated this: "I've learned patience with my prayers and have tried to cease needful praying all together, as we are told, He knows our needs before we ask."


    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Excellent Hub, Our God layed out a pretty specific plan for us, it only requires a little faith, and that can be such a hard one for us to achieve, because of our nature to deny faith.

      I feel as if I just left Church, a great sermon.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      Ken, a great message, knowing what you know from the Bible, if Christ asked you to get out of that boat, would you step out cautiously, or jump out and dance all the way to his side? I'd like to think that I would and am pretty sure you would. It would be a fantastic experience, like bunjee jumping with out the bunjee :)

      I've learned patience with my prayers and have tried to cease needful praying all together, as we are told, He knows our needs before we ask. I've often come to the conclusion that the answer was no, only to find it was yes, but just not right now. I waited and worked for my well for 10 years, and what I received was a deep well with 6 psi of pressure and good clear sweet water, in a state with high mineral content in most wells. I got an underground spring fed well. I was ecstatic the driller was surprised, said it was one he could count on one hand in 30 years of drilling. Times like that one can only thank the Lord!

      Blessings to you and yours, Dusty

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      You're welcome, Pamela. Thank you for stopping in & sharing. Be blessed & encouraged.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Ken, What an awesome hub to start the day. I have always been very fond of the story of Peter walking on the water and applied that to my life. If you keep your eyes on Jesus everything will work out. Walk by faith, not by sight and life's problems are so much easier to handle. Thanks for an inspiring message. God Bless.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Seeker7 - Thank you. Your observations about business are likely exactly right.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 7 years ago from Fife, Scotland


      Excellent and profound hub. I think most problems stem from being 'too busy'. Too busy to just think, to just be. When we spend our lives being 'too busy' it passes by so quickly that most of us ultimately end up with regrets of what could have been. When we get the chance to be 'quiet', we then seem to focus on failure instead of what we have learned, achieve and what has been given to us.