‘And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:28-33).
Some people may criticize Peter in this passage, but the truth is, most of us can relate to Peter at one point or another in our lives. There are many lessons we can learn from this passage when we are faced with similar circumstances.
Firstly, Peter asks the Lord ‘if it is You, command me to come to You on the water’. This shows that Peter believed that if Jesus has the power to walk on the water, then He can give to him that same power. Have you ever been in a situation that seems so impossible for you to fix by your own strength? The good news is that God can do the impossible. He interrupted the law of gravity by walking on water – all you need is the faith to believe that if God is able, then you are also able through His power. Faith unleashes the supernatural in our lives – therefore we should have faith that God is able. It is at that moment where we begin to experience God’s mighty hand in our lives.
‘So He said, “Come”’. Jesus responds to your faith, even the smallest amount of faith you may have, by inviting you to come. Peter immediately stepped out onto the water. When God commands us, we should always obey even if it makes no sense. Perhaps God has commanded you to do something that seems impossible, or far beyond your purpose or ability. This is what obedience looks like – responding because God has commanded. Is there an area in your life where you are not responding to God’s call of obedience?
Thirdly, we can see that as Peter takes a few steps forward, he takes his eyes off Jesus and is fearful of the waves and cries out “Lord, save me”! We can learn from this that fear will sink you. The devil wants us to look to our surrounding circumstances – our sins, struggles, weaknesses. He wants us to take our eyes away from Jesus so that we begin to sink. Dear friend, turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full on His wonderful face instead of looking at yourself or at your circumstances. Your sins, situation, struggles are nothing in the light of His power and grace.
As Peter cries out to the Lord for help, He acknowledges his weakness and realises that he has sunk. He believes that Jesus will not leave him there to drown. ‘And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”’. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God will hear us as soon as we cry out to Him for help? Not only so, but He is quick to save us when we fully depend on Him. Perhaps you hear the voice of God today asking, ‘why did you doubt’? Jesus asks this because he wanted Peter to realise that doubting will only cause him to fall. Jesus spoke of Peter’s ‘little faith’. Little faith is better than no faith – meaning, what greater things we would do for the Lord if we had stronger faith!
‘Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”’ Finally, you can choose to worry or to worship the Lord when He has done a work in your life. You can choose to stay in that place of stress, fear and anxiety – or you can choose to praise the Lord and thank Him for allowing you to experience a situation, whatever it may be, in order to strengthen you.
Dear reader, are you still looking towards Jesus? Do you have faith that He can do the impossible? Are you obeying His commandments or calling? Are you crying out for the Lord to save you if you are drowning? Are you grateful to Him for the work He has done in your life? I thank God that He understands our humanness and is ready to save us immediately as soon as we acknowledge our weakness and cry out to Him for help.