“And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea….. And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer, I AM! Do not fear.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘LORD, if it is You, tell me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him; and said to him, ‘Little-faith! Why did you doubt?'”
Matthew 14:26-31 (AMP)
Do you doubt?
I know sometimes I do.
There is encouragement though. The disciples also had their moments of doubt. Thomas is often recalled as the disciple who doubted, but Peter also had moments of doubt.
We can learn a lot from this account of Peter. He goes from fear (of the unexplained i.e. Jesus walking on the water) to faith enough to respond to Jesus’ simple command ‘Come’. He even has faith enough to walk on water himself!
It was looking at his circumstances that caused his fear and, consequently, his doubt. We, too, often go from fear to faith and then, when we look at our circumstances, to fear again which leads to doubt. We need to keep our focus on Jesus and not the circumstances.
Peter’s response to sinking was to call on Jesus to save him and Jesus catches Peter immediately. That is the correct response for those occasions when we begin to sink. We need to re-focus on Jesus and call on Him to save us. We can have the confidence that Jesus will reach out His hand to catch us immediately, just as He did for Peter.
Also note, Jesus didn’t say Peter was faithless but had ‘Little-faith’. Just as Peter’s faith grew, our faith will also grow when we stay focused on Jesus. Jesus did, though, give Peter some food for thought, and He asks us as well to look deep into ourselves to find the answer to the question ‘Why did you doubt?’
Dear Father, thank You for the examples of those who have gone before and who, through their humanness and their faith, encourage us. So Lord, when our circumstances overwhelm us, please help us quickly to take your outstretched hand which is ready to save us from sinking. Thank You through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Study by Ruth Edwards