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Why Did You Doubt?

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” He said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31 NIV)

Peter is a shining example of the frailty of us human followers of Jesus Christ. We struggle to maintain faith, even when we are being faithful. Here he is, walking on water, and he gets distracted by the power of the storm and begins to sink. Trusting Jesus, Peter walked on water that night! The other disciples remained in the boat.

Have you seen a plaque or meme that urges: "Don't tell God the size of your storm. Tell the storm the size of your God!"? Peter lost confidence in Jesus that night while he was walking on water and began to sink. Even as he was sinking in the waves, Peter did the right thing, calling out to Jesus to save him. And Jesus did! But then He asked Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I love the line in the classic MercyMe song, "Even If," that says,

They say it only takes a little faith

To move mountains.

Good thing.

A little faith is all I have right now.

Aren't we all "You of little faith," just like Peter? Good thing Jesus told His disciples:

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:19-21 NIV) Emphasis mine.

I got "promoted" in my 30's from appointment as Pastor of a church with 140 attending to a church with 300 attending, and with paid staff to supervise. I got busy. I worked hard. I got busier. And somewhere along the line, I gave up trying to do my personal devotion time each morning. For about a year, the only time I prayed was when I led prayer in worship and at meetings. I still believed in Jesus. I was doing my best to work hard for Him and His kingdom. But I was slowly drying up inside. I was trying to do God's work in my strength.

Jesus called me back to Himself dramatically through the Walk to Emmaus and a Pastor's Conference, and rescued me from myself the same way He pulled Peter up out of the water that night. He taught me that I cannot see supernatural things while trusting only in my own natural strength. I need prayer. I need Him. I can't put my faith in myself, or even faith in the size of my faith. It only takes a little faith to move mountains. Good thing. A little faith is all I have...

Are you in the middle of a storm? Keep your eyes on Jesus. Tell the storm how big your God is. Remind yourself how big your God is. Seek the daily manna of His strength and provision by maintaining a daily quiet time with Jesus in prayer and in reading Scripture. Trust Him, not your own strength and abilities. You just might end up walking on water!


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