Tom Elliff
Oklahoma City, OK

After pastoring for forty-two years, Tom Elliff served the International Mission Board, first as Senior Vice President for Spiritual Nurture and Church Relations from 2005-2009, then as President from 2011-2014. Tom served pastorates in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma and as an IMB missionary in Zimbabwe. Tom also served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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By on June 12, 2016

Ever get the sensation that you are drowning in a sea of circumstances beyond your control with no hope of getting back on top? You’re definitely not alone! In fact, if you listen carefully you’ll be able to hear a chorus of “Amens!”

Here’s some advice from a fellow-pilgrim that you just might want to ponder over the next few days. That fellow-pilgrim is none other than Simon Peter himself. And the event? Of course, I’m referring to Peter’s journey toward Jesus on a turbulent Sea of Galilee, recorded in Matthew 14:22-33. (You might just want to read that account first, and then come back to this blog). The good news is that you are not alone. Consider the following:

  1. Every crisis in your life is a call to prayer (22-24). Manley Beasley was accustomed to saying that “Every problem is a call to worship.”
  1. It helps to know just where Jesus is in relation to your problems (25-27). It does me good to reflect on the fact that God’s children don’t pray to get the Lord’s attention but because they already have it. He’s right there with us…right now! So pray!
  1. Bold, obedient living always honors the Lord (28-29). Peter was on a journey of faith. To those of us who desire the same, Christ says, “Come on!” Your determination to live by faith honors the Lord. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6).
  1. When you ask something of the Lord, it is important to do the next thing He says (29b). Have you ever pled with the Lord, and then argued with His counsel?
  1. When your faith falters, just turn back to Jesus (30-31a). Life is not to be simply your journey but your journey with Jesus. So don’t be surprised when He takes you by the hand and draws you into an arena where you are overwhelmed with circumstances. That’s His way of getting you to hold on to His hand!
  1. On the other side of any deliverance DO NOT cease listening to the Lord (31b). Peter’s near drowning was simply Jesus’ invitation to enroll in another course in God’s School of Faith. “Why did you doubt?” asked Christ. Christ would have more to say later on so at that moment He was simply planting the seed.

I intend to talk more with Peter about this when I get to heaven. Right now I’ve got some more drowning to do.

Rejoice evermore!
Tom Elliff
2 Tim 1:12

  • Lori Bennett

    Just call me #5 sentence 2 – Sheridan Hills still misses you, thank you for your thoughts.