Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why Did You Doubt?

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. (27) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (28) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. (29) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (32) And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. (Matthew 14:25-32)

This event in Peter's life came after he witnessed Jesus feed a multitude of people with five loaves and two fish. You'd think that would be enough to vanish any doubt! Yet when Peter began to sink, his faith faltered. My question is the same as Jesus' was, "Why?" What caused him to doubt?

People always say, "Well, he looked at the water and became afraid."

Yes, that's true. But read Jesus' own words in this paragraph. Jesus stated to Peter and the other disciples, "It is I, be not afraid." Here is the solution! With those words, Jesus gave Peter the only information he needed to walk on the water. It's not solely that the waves were so huge or the wind so strong. Instead, Peter had stopped looking at Jesus.

When I was at the bottom of life, crippled by fear, the one thing that lifted me up was keeping my eyes, my focus, on God. As I meditated on His greatness, my mind became renewed and my faith increased. Doubt came when I stopped looking. The apostle Paul stated this in Hebrews 12:2.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Jesus is the beginning and ending (the answer) of our faith. To have a manifestation of what I am believing God for, to see its fulfillment, I must continue gazing at Him.

It's not enough to know not to doubt because doubts come everyday. Despite the marvelous things God has done for me, sometimes the doubts creep in and begin to choke me. (Mt 13:22;Mk 4:19) They come as I lose sight of who God really is, as I forget what Jesus did, as the Holy Spirit becomes distant to me. No, I must know what to do to prevent doubt.

I made this statement the other day.

Live as if God is reliable. Expect Him to be who He says He is.

This is the solution to doubt. Any time I am wavering, I need only look at my failed expectations of the Father. Did I really pray expecting Him to answer?

Christianity is a relationship. In any relationship, you spend time with the other person until you can choose for them. You can order their meal at a restaurant. You know what they will say at any given moment. I can answer for my spouse or my daughter in many situations because of the time I have spent with them. I know their likes and dislikes. I know when not to answer as well. I know when they'd say "no."

Our relationship with God, with the Father, with Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit, should be the same. There isn't a doubt in me that God loves me. I know it. You can't take that from me. I have no doubts that He wants only the best for me. At no point in time will He ever "put things on me" to teach me anything. That is not in His nature or His desires. I know because I've spent time in His presence - time in prayer, time in worship.

There is the answer to doubt.

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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