February 8, 2021
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:30-31).
What makes our relationship with Jesus so intriguing and important is that He challenges us to examine ourselves, often in times of crisis. O you of little faith is a rebuke because Peter did not trust Jesus in his time of crisis. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He asked the question, why did you doubt?
There is no doubt Peter doubted the Lord. The question why did you doubt? was intended to motivate Peter to examine himself and understand the reason for his doubt. Adding up the chain of events can help us understand Peter’s doubt.
• Crossing the Sea of Galilee at night - dangerous.
• Furiously rowing the boat for hours on a storm tossed sea - frightening.
• Seeing what appeared to be a ghost walking on the water - terrifying.
• Actually walking on the water to Jesus - inconceivable.
• Sinking fully clothed in the Sea to certain death - horrifying.
All of this adds up to a surreal, “What in the world is going on?” Any reason why Peter wouldn’t have doubts? But that’s human nature in a crisis. We panic. We question what’s going on and why. We wonder where God is or if He even knows what is going on. All of these responses are doubts. It’s not lack of faith - it’s diminished faith, it’s immature faith, it’s faith affected by circumstance. It’s taking your eyes off of Jesus and letting circumstance or a series of circumstances take control of your life.
Jesus’ rebuke of Peter was not intended to demoralize or shame him. It was intended to save him by bolstering his faith in the Lord. The Lord allows us to experience a crisis from time to time not to hurt us, but to help us. Sometimes the crisis is orchestrated, as was Peter’s and the disciples'. Sometimes it is allowed, as was Job’s. But the Lord is always in control. He has our best interest at heart. We can trust Him. But trusting in the Lord is not always easy. Mature faith trusts the Lord completely. But faith matures through testing like gold is refined by fire.
The Lord loved Peter and would not permit anything to jeopardize his life until God’s will for him was fulfilled. (Luke 22:31-32) Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
“Father, thank You for Your great love and mercy that saves me from doubt and fear and their disastrous results. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for praying for me so that Satan cannot sift me like wheat. I am forever grateful to You and praise You for calling and choosing me to be Your own. Amen”