Rev. Lawrence W. Rodgers

Loving Mercy, Doing Justice, Walking Humbly with God

Faith Beyond The Boat: Facing Challenges with Adaptive Faith


Faith Beyond The Boat: Facing Challenges with Adaptive Faith
By: Pastor Lawrence W. Rodgers

Life can often take us by surprise. Unexpected challenges, like sudden storms, can disrupt our plans and shake our faith. Some might seek refuge, some might remain paralyzed by fear, but others rise to the occasion with adaptive faith.

In Matthew 14:22-33, we find the disciples in the heart of a storm. This story reminds us that even when we're faithfully following God's path, we're not exempt from adversity. In fact, sometimes, God leads us directly into the storms of life to strengthen our faith.
The disciples faced not only an external storm but an internal one, questioning God's care and testing their faith. Yet, with a single word, Jesus calmed the storm, revealing His divine power and humanity.
In our lives, we too encounter storms that challenge our understanding of God. These moments of turmoil are opportunities for us to discover more about His character and power.
Circumstances and Adaptive Challenges:
Challenging circumstances are a part of life. What's essential to remember is that every challenge brings change. No challenge is free from transformation.
Adaptive faith is what we need to deal with adaptive challenges—situations that can't be resolved with our existing knowledge, skills, or approaches. They demand new learning, innovation, and sometimes, changes in our values, beliefs, habits, or priorities.
Distinguishing Technical and Adaptive Challenges:
1. Technical Challenges: These can be addressed using existing knowledge and skills. They often have clear solutions.
2. Adaptive Challenges: These can't be solved with current methods and require people to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors. They often involve a process of experimentation, learning, and adjustment.
The storm was the technical challenge, but the lack of faith presented the adaptive challenge.
Navigational Challenge: The disciples couldn't see the opportunity in the storm. Like those who serve during physical storms, there are spiritual and emotional tasks to accomplish during life's storms.
Perceptual Challenge: The disciples felt they had no options. When Jesus offered a solution, they initially saw it as a threat. How often do we view God's solutions with fear instead of faith?
Physical Challenge: Jesus asked them to do the unimaginable—walk on water. This challenge defied the laws of nature, and they had never seen it done before. But they had to step into the unknown.
If the disciples had faults in this story, they were refusing to be adaptive, failing to trust in God, and getting in the way of His greatness.
Remember, storms in life are not just trials to endure; they are opportunities for growth. We should not be afraid of the options God provides, even when they seem unconventional. In the storm, the Messiah is with us.
Just like the disciples, God is calling us to purpose in the storm, learn important lessons, help others, and receive His message. He can calm the sea, offer solutions when there seems to be no way, and guide us to walk on water.
What manner of man is this? He is God! He is the Captain of our ship, the way when there seems to be no way, light in the darkness, and our Savior. If you seek deliverance and freedom, always remember that no matter the challenge you can turn to Him.
As we face the challenges of the week ahead, let's remember that adaptive faith helps us navigate the storms and discover the greatness of our God.
May you have a blessed and faith-filled week!
In His Service,
Pastor Lawrence W. Rodgers

Watch the full sermon that this devotional is based on by clicking here.