Growing in Faith (Matthew 14)

31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31

Sometimes people’s words stick deep in us and they wound us, when in actuality they should have encouraged us.  The reason for this is because we only hear the first words of what they were saying or we assume the meaning without getting clarity.

Consider Jesus words to Peter in Matthew 14:31.  Peter has just accomplished a feat that you and I have never accomplished.  He has taken steps on the water to walk to Jesus.  Yes, Peter was a water walker for a moment.  But, as you know, he took his eyes off Jesus for a second.  He quickly began to sink.  But he quickly turned his eyes back to Jesus and said these amazing, life-altering words, “Lord, save me.”

You and I have read this so many times.  We have talked about Peter’s failure to keeps his eyes on Jesus.  It is true, we sometimes fail to keep our eyes focused.  But it is also true that Jesus honored his request by saving him.

In this moment, Peter must have been deflated.  Maybe this is where you are in this moment.  Then Jesus adds insult to injury as He says, “Oh you of little faith…”  But wait, is Jesus insulting Peter or is He encouraging Peter with the understanding that Peter has gone from no faith to little faith?

I believe these are encouraging words for Peter and the other apprentices.  Jesus is teaching them about the steps of faith.  Often we fail to understand how our faith is not a sprint but a marathon!  God intends for us to daily take steps of faith, with each building on the other.

Maybe you are in a place where you feel like you have little faith.  Oh my brother and sisters, little faith is so much better than no faith.

When I read the words of Jesus in Matthew 14:31, I get encouraged to not give up but to grow in my faith.  Below are the words of Peter from II Peter 1:3-10.  Grow in your faith.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence,[d]by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[g] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

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