“Why did you doubt?”
Jesus asked Simon Peter this question at one time (Mathew 14:22-33). Many times we, like Peter, have been candidates for the very same question. We are walking in faith then suddenly there is a threatening shift in our circumstances and we begin to doubt.
It is interesting to note that Jesus expected such unwavering faith from his disciples and the people who lived in his time. Jesus doesn’t change, so I am pretty sure he expects the same of us. In this particular passage, Simon Peter walked on water after Jesus called him out of the boat, but when the wind grew strong, he doubted and started to sink. He cried out: “Lord save me”. Jesus moved towards him to save him. As he reached out his hand, the master said: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
We can tell there is a hint of frustration in Jesus’ voice. It sounds like he has said it before and he has already given Peter more than enough reason to trust him by things he had done prior to this. Let’s see what Jesus did earlier. For starters, he had just enabled Simon Peter walk on water a matter of seconds before! Jesus had also fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, raised a girl from the dead, cast out demons, healed countless people and yes calmed the wind of a raging storm. So here was Simon Peter who had seen Jesus calm the winds before and the moment he felt the wind blowing a bit hard, he doubted. Now we can see why Jesus seemed frustrated at Simon’s little faith.
Let’s not be too hard on Simon though, because in many ways, we are just like him. We have all experienced times when we doubted God, but we have also seen him come through for us when we trusted him. You would be amazed if you listed the times God has been there for you. You may not call them miracles per se but God came through for you when you needed him.
So what happens to our faith when the winds of life blow hard? That’s a question for you to answer. Jesus expects us to trust him irrespective of the circumstances, because the power of God is not limited. The thing that Peter forgot here was that Jesus can deal with anything that comes against us, no matter what it is. Our part is to refuse to size-up our circumstances and just believe that every problem we may face is simple for God to deal with.
Everything Simon Peter saw Jesus do should have given him great faith, but we can also say that those very same miracles should strengthen our own faith because even if this was a different time, the same Jesus who walked with Simon walks with us today.