Slipping in Doubt
Verse 31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
Yesterday we were talking about how the disciples were being flooded with doubt as they struggled in a storm at sea and that Jesus came to them walking on the water in the middle of the night. As we continue the story today we see how fast doubt can creep in and cause us to sink into despair.
Remember that this was happening during winds that was causing heavy waves. Jesus wasn’t walking on a glassy surface but instead was walking among the waves. The disciples were already a bit on edge about the waves – remember they weren’t in a modern boat with all its life preservers and life boats – but at least 4 of them were career fisherman and had likely seen their share of big waves. What they hadn’t seen before was someone walking towards them on the waves, hence the reason they were freaked out. I think we all would have been a bit unnerved.
Jesus tells them not to be afraid because it is Him. That should be the thing that removes our doubts and fears too. Peter, in his signature impulsive way, says, if it is You then let me walk to You.” Jesus says to come and so Peter instantly forgets his doubts and takes a huge step of faith stepping out into the waves. Can you imagine the thrill?!
The thrill was short lived however as he started to look around him at the waves. As soon as he started to notice the waves, he started to focus on them and doubts started flooding him and he started to sink down into the waves. Jesus rebukes Peter about his lack of faith which allowed the doubt to creep in.
This is how doubts take us down too. They keep us focused on the troubles in our lives which takes our eyes off of God and we lose sight of the truth – God is still in control in the world. We can’t be focused on both God, who is the Great Almighty, and the world. This is when we become unstable and this is what keeps us from enjoying the wisdom that comes from God and His way of thinking. But we shouldn’t despair because Jesus didn’t leave Peter flailing in the water and He won’t leave us floundering in our trials either. When we refocus on Him and take His hand, He will lift us out of our doubt and show us truth.
Making It Personal
Where are places in your life that you have found yourself floundering? What is it about these trials that is keeping your focus off of Christ? Has your focus slipped due to mistrusting God?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever stood on a tall slide or in a tree and suddenly felt uneasy in the tummy? Did your mom and dad tell you not to look down so that you wouldn’t be afraid? What do you think it means to trust?
Father, thank You for rescuing us from the waves of doubt. Please help us keep our eyes on You so that we don’t slip into doubt at the first sign of trouble. In Jesus’ name, amen.