I find that confidence and doubt are competing in a daily tug of war. The apostle Paul describes a similar process in Galatians 5:16-18 as this internal battle takes place in the spiritual realm. The older I become, the confidence that I’ve possessed most of my life has been shaken since moving to South Carolina. I even struggle with basic self-confidence as I find myself fighting through doubt daily.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said, Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus, Matthew 14:25-29.
Today’s selected passage is one of the best examples of fighting through doubt. Jesus’ own disciples experience a series of emotions from fear to awe and back to fear. As the disciples headed off on a boat, Jesus stayed behind to minister to needy individuals. To catch up, Jesus walked on water through the night, making it appear that He was a ghost. The disciples’ minds couldn’t process this initially.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God,” Matthew 14:30-33.
Rubbing his eyes in disbelief at Jesus walking on water, Peter willed himself to imagine the impossible. As Peter fought through doubt, he begins to play a game of Truth or Dare with Jesus. Jesus’ response to Peter’s request brought him to take a leap of faith. Peter exited this boat to stand on the water with Jesus. The only mistake Peter made was to take his eyes off of Jesus to dwell on the water, Hebrews 12:1-2. When your own waves of disbelief come crashing ashore, fight through doubt with a will to stand.
by Jay Mankus