When the Waves Hit Your Knees
Verse 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Yesterday we talked about what real faith looks like. But what does faith look like when doubt creeps in?
When Jesus walked on water and Peter asked if he could join the Lord, Peter showed his faith by stepping out of the boat onto the water. Now, it is good to remember that he was not stepping out on water that was smooth as glass. Matthew 14:24 says, "...and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it." It would seem to us that it takes considerable faith to step out into that kind of water. But Peter's eyes weren't on the waves.
Unfortunately we can relate with Peter's next set of circumstances. Maybe it was the splash of a wave that brought Peter's thoughts to the wind and eyes back to waves. Whatever it was, he probably stiffened and was soon sinking into the waves. I'm sure we can all relate to that. One moment we are walking high thinking that we can face anything because we are walking with Him, then something happens and our faith takes a hit.
Peter did what most of us do, he called out to Jesus to rescue him. Jesus’ response speaks to the question before us today as He speaks to both Peter’s faith and his doubt. Jesus reaches for Peter’s hand and catches him as He says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Did you notice that Jesus didn’t question that Peter had faith? And He didn’t question who that faith was in. He knew that Peter had faith in Him but He needed Peter to understand that because of his small faith, he had doubt flooding in. This is the same thing that James is trying to help his readers, and us, to see.
When our faith is not full in the Lord, doubt will flood in and we will not be stable in our thinking. Why would God freely give wisdom to someone who asks but doesn’t wholeheartedly trust Him?
Making It Personal
Have you ever found yourself lacking in faith? What were you focusing on that was bringing the doubt? What helped raise your faith?
Making It Personal Kids
Read the story about Jesus and Peter walking on the water from Matthew 14:22-33. What’s the difference between faith and doubt?
Father, thank You for calling us into a deeper level of faith. Help us remember that You are always worthy of our trust. In Jesus’ name, amen.