Why Did You Doubt?
The interaction between Peter and Jesus in Matthew’s narrative of Jesus walking on the water is inspiring (Matthew 14:22-33). When Peter saw Jesus on the water, not certain if it was Jesus or a ghost, he said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus replied, “Come.” Peter stepped out of the boat. Peter’s obedience to respond when called and his faith in Christ allowed him to become the second man to walk on water! But something changed the moment Peter took in his environment, observed the wind, and began to doubt. He lost focus on Jesus and realized he was walking on water; he was overcome with fear and began to sink. He cried out to Jesus and Jesus saved him. But then Jesus said something profound: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I think in this moment Jesus taught Peter a lesson that is invaluable for all of us. It is not wrong to doubt; notice Jesus asked, “Why did you doubt?” When you experience doubt, take the time to discover the source of your doubt. This could lead to an opportunity for Jesus to strengthen your faith by overcoming your own doubt and fear.
We are called into uncomfortable circumstances and situations. Parenting, job requirements, broken trust, or other challenges can lead us to a place where we doubt. If we take time to identify where that doubt is rooted, we can name it and begin to work through it with the aid of the Spirit, friends, and family. Doubt handled this way can become a source of hope and lead to a deeper relationship with Jesus. This deeper relationship can inspire hope and encourage others to address doubt they are dealing with as well. It could lead to a place where getting out of the boat is not as terrifying as it once was.
Keith Priest is Ebenezer’s Christian Counselor. He offers Biblically-based counseling free of charge to our community. For more information, visit ebenezerumc.org/counseling
Beginning June 23, Keith will lead a six-week study on Lysa TerKeurst’s best-selling book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget. The class is open to all adults and will meet on Thursdays from 7:00-8:30 PM. Participants will learn how to let go of resentment, make peace with painful memories, and reclaim your future. Cost: $27 (includes book and study guide). Learn more and register here.