Summary: I believe it is a lot easier to demonstrate our faith on Sundays or when we ‘re surrounded by other faithful people; than it is to demonstrate our faith during the week or when we are alone. So it’s in those times that the quality of our faith is measured
The Waves Of Doubt; Matthew 14:22-32
Did you know that an impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet they can be kept in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals won ’t jump if they cannot see what’s on the other side. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And by faith we are freed from the enclosures that fear allows to entrap us.
I believe it is a lot easier to demonstrate our faith on Sundays or when we ‘re surrounded by other faithful people; than it is to demonstrate our faith during the week or when we are alone. So it’s in those times that the quality of our faith is measured. Because it’s often in the midst of the week or it’s between the crowds that the storms of life arise and it’s in those times that we are called to fight the good fight of faith. Our faith is measured between the crowds.
And that’s exactly where the disciples were in this passage of scripture. You see just before this scene Jesus fed a Crowd of well over 5,000 people, demonstrating to His disciples that He Cares and that He is able to Provide. And immediately following our text, Jesus heals the sick in a huge Crowd of people on the other side of the Sea, demonstrating again that He Cares and that He can overcome the problems we face. So this entire scene, set between a Crowd and a Crowd, involves only Jesus and His disciples. Matthew 14:22-29a…
After feeding more then 5000 people, Jesus commanded the disciples to get into the ship and go over to the other side of the sea. Then He stayed back and spent time in prayer with His Father. Jesus often prayed just before the most difficult circumstances of life. I believe He went away to pray for His disciples. He went away to pray for their faith.
You see in the meantime the disciples had encountered a storm, and a strong wind was blowing against them, and even though they had been rowing hard all night they were only to the middle of the sea. But all of a sudden Jesus came walking to them on the water. Initially they were afraid because they thought He was a ghost. He assured them and said, “Be of good cheer, it is I, do not be afraid.” At that moment Peter spoke up and said, “Lord, if it is You command me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus said, “Come”
I believe there are four lessons that we can learn from the events that took place that night during the storm.
I. When we put our faith in Christ we can do great things
Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In Matthew 19:26 after saying “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter demonstrated that first hand, he stepped out of the boat with nothing to stand on but the word of Jesus. You see Jesus said, “Come.”
I would like to say that Peter was a man of great faith at that time but I believe it was more that he just didn’t give it a thought until he was out on the water. But for whatever reason he got out of the boat and on the water.
I love to hear about those that are willing to step out in faith. The Bible is filled with such stories:
1. Abraham stepped out in faith when God commanded him to leave his country, family, and his fathers’ house, and go to a place that he had never been before, and God said He would bless him there.
2. David stepped out in faith when he faced a giant named Goliath. Everyone else was terrified including Saul who was supposed to be a great military leader. But David faced the giant with a sling shot and a couple of rocks.
3. Noah stepped out in faith and built the ark even though he was living in a dessert and it had never rained before… He didn’t even know what rain was, but he obediently stepped out on God’s word.
4. The children of Israel stepped out on faith and passed through the Red Sea on dry land, when the Egyptians tried to follow God called the waters back into place and they drowned.
Now Peter was going to step out on faith and walk on water because Jesus said, “Come.”