“Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” – Matthew 14:31)
Fear is the enemy of faith. It certainly is not our intention to let fear erode our faith, but it happens. God speaks to you during your morning quiet time and you are stoked to be about your father’s business that day. But as the day goes on, life’s troubles pop up, and fear starts to creep in and dissolve away your commitment. You have been there. I have been there. Everybody has been there, including Peter.
The story of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water is one of the best-known passages in the New Testament. You have to love Peter. He is rash, a little impetuous, and sometimes reckless. We love Peter because we can relate to him. He loves Jesus in a way that is beautiful and powerful, but with some irrational behavior thrown in. Picture the story in Matthew 14: 22-33: Peter hops out and begins confidently walking toward Jesus. But then a big wave crashes close to his feet, distracting him for a second. As he watches that wave, he notices the other waves around him. His ears become alert and he hears the waves crashing against the boat behind him. He hears the wind howling around him. He shakily looks down at his feet and fear overtakes him. The more afraid he gets, the quicker his feet begin to sink into the sea. Sheer panic sets in as the fear of all that is going on around him overtake him. Then he remembers Jesus. Out of desperation, he cries out to Him. Peter is pulled back up above the water and Jesus asks “why did you doubt me?”
Jesus is basically telling Peter, “I’ve got you. Don’t worry. Just trust me. You don’t have to be strong because I’m strong enough for the both of us.” Peter learned a lesson about fear and faith, one that can serve as a model for us.
Trusting Him in spite of our fear not only builds our faith, but it builds the faith of others and brings glory to God. The reality is that fear will creep in on occasion and cause us to stumble. God is with us, reminding us that He’s got a hold of us and will bring us through.
This is a great story that we can learn from. We dive into things with full faith. Sometimes, though, the troubles of this world distract us and for a moment we take our eyes off of Him and focus on our own incapability to fix things. It isn’t long before we cry out to Him because we can feel ourselves starting to sink. Every time, He is faithful to reach out His hand, and walk us through.
- Has there been a situation where you felt the urge to jump out of the boat? If you didn’t what kept you from jumping?
- Is there something today that is calling you to jump out of the boat?