Why Did You Doubt?
Peter was willing to put it all on the line. He and the other disciples had been straining against the waves and wind all night long when Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water. Wanting to prove his courage to Jesus, he made an amazing statement: “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (Matthew 14:28). These were rough seas, and Peter was willing to literally step onto them because he was looking at Jesus. That gave him confidence and courage.
It went well for awhile until Peter started to sink. And why did he sink? Simply because he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on other things. The Bible tells us, “When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid” (verse 30) ……
Circumstances can be frightening. When your boss calls you in and tells you the company has to downsize and they are letting you go; when the doctor notifies you with the test results that are not good; when you open that letter from an attorney that says you are being sued; it can scare you. It can even devastate you. And it can cause you to take your eyes off Jesus ….
Where fear reigns, faith is driven away. But where faith reigns, fear has no place. Faith and fear don’t mix. The Bible clearly defines this for us also where it is written: “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). That’s pretty strong, but to the point. If we begin to doubt, which can easily happen when we take our eyes off of Jesus and place our focus on anything else, we are not walking by faith as He has called us to, and therefore we sin …. As you bring in faith, fear will walk out the back door. But if you invite fear as a resident in your life, then you will drive faith away ….
Peter had faith. He had his eyes on Jesus. He was doing the impossible. But then he started to sink; because he took his eyes off Jesus. In his case, he looked at the wind. In our case, it might be something else: the doctor’s report; a huge electric bill; an unexpected financial need; a seemingly impossible situation; but when we look at the circumstance and forget God, we will start to sink …. It is no new thing for Christ’s disciples to meet with storms in life, but He thereby shows Himself with the more grace to them and for them. He can take what way He pleases to save His people; He is God. However, nothing ought to cause fear in those that have Christ near them, and know that He is theirs; not even death itself. Peter walked upon the water, not to glory in himself, or to boast of it, but with an honest desire to go to Jesus; and in that he was thus wonderfully lifted up by His grace. We will never ever cry out to Jesus and then sink, because we are upheld by His power. Christ bade Peter come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know His Lord’s power, but that he might know his own weakness. And in the same way the Lord often lets His servants have their choice; to humble and prove them, and to show the greatness of His power and grace in and through them. When we look off from Christ, and look at the greatness of opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to Him: He will stretch out His arm, and save us. Christ is the great Saviour; those who would be saved, must come to Him, and cry to Him, for salvation; and often we are never brought to this, until we find ourselves sinking; as the sense of need drives us to Him. He rebuked Peter …. “And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (verse 31).
In closing; could we but believe more, we should suffer less. The weakness of faith, and the prevailing of our doubts, displease our Lord Jesus, for there is no good reason why Christ’s disciples should ever be of a doubtful mind. Even in a stormy day He is to them a very present help (Psalm 46). None but the Master could multiply the loaves and feed multitudes; none but the Almighty could tread upon the waters of the sea; none but the world’s Creator could part the Red Sea for His children to walk across on dry land. In this passage, the disciples yield to the evidence of His greatness, and confess their faith. They were suitably affected, and worshipped Christ (verse 33).
Whatever you might be facing today; be encouraged and know you do not have to sink into the mirey clay of despair. You do not have to be overcome by a flood of fear. You are not defeated! Jesus is waiting on you at this very moment; with His hand outstretched, saying, “I am here; why are you doubting? Trust me” …..
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry….. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
Let us pray ~
I thank You Lord, for I know that I am saved and secure in Christ; but Lord so often my mind gives way to many different kinds of fear; fears within and fears without, and sometimes I find that fear seems to overwhelm me, and yet You have told me in Your word that perfect love casts out fear. I know that Your love is perfect and my love is weak and it is when I am weak that the fears seem to flood my heart and overwhelm my soul and I will begin to sink if I take my eyes off You. Your Word says that when I am weak then I am strong. Help me Lord to combat this fear and to rest my weary frightened soul at Your feet. Help me Lord to understand these comforting words and to know how to apply them in my life. Please teach me how to walk in Spirit and Truth and help me to take every fearful thought captive and hand it over to You in prayer and praise the very instance that it arises in my heart. Enable me in the power of Your Holy Spirit to allow Your strength to be made perfect in my weakness – knowing that the Holy Spirit Who indwells me is greater that all the combined worries, anxieties, fears and problems that I have, all put together. Thank You that in You Jesus I can find my strength and my deliverance. In Jesus name I pray, Amen …..
God is with us ….