Do You Have Enough Faith To Sink?

Do You Have Enough Faith To Sink?

            Think about the first time you rode a bike with two wheels. Were you nervous? Did you fall? Did you quit? For many of us, learning to ride a bike was a stressful, yet highly rewarding activity. It was a blast. It was life changing, providing the first illusion of freedom. It was a momentous occasion. However, it was also difficult. Learning to ride a bike was frustrating, full of ups-and-downs, and if you were like me, you wanted to give up, despite the fantastic rewards of learning how. 

            When we come to Matthew 14, Jesus and His disciples are on a boat “a long way from the land.” What Peter did not know is that he was about to be faced with a decision that is similar in one aspect to learning how to ride a bike. We find Jesus in verse 25 walking on the sea, and the disciples “were terrified” while crying out in fear.

            What we find next is a situation that has many applications for us today. Peter calls out to Jesus saying, “‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out…” We find that Peter is bold enough to walk on the water at Jesus’ command, and he successfully begins walking out of the boat. Unfortunately, when the strong winds came, Peter got nervous, taking his eyes off Christ, and he sank in accordance with his faith which had also faltered.

            Although an excellent lesson to be learned from this story is how we should never doubt God, and always trust that with Him we can do everything, I would like to challenge everyone to take a moment and consider who showed a strong faith here. While we often rail on Peter’s faltering faith, I think he gets an unfair level of criticism.

            When the whole picture is examined, we realize just how good of an example Peter initially shows here. Peter was bold, brave, and faithful. He was willing to try something despite the danger, doubt, and fear of attempting to walk on water. Do we have a faith like that?

            Oftentimes the focus of this story is on Peter’s failing faith. Perhaps the focus should be on Peter’s working faith. In our lives do we have Peter’s faith? Do we sometimes lose sight of God? Regrettably, the answer to the latter is yes. Do we have such a trust and love for God that we are willing to “walk on water” if He asks us too? I hope so!

            Just like learning to ride a bike, our faith in God will be the most rewarding experience we could hope for. However, our faith will also have the ups-and-downs, frustrations, and even the falling involved in learning to ride a bike. Peter’s faith was so strong that he was willing to get out of the safety of the boat and walk on water. Yes he fell, but at least he tried! Yes he sank, but at least he took on a significant challenge!

            Peter was willing to chance sinking for Christ. The adverse conditions around him, the fear of the unknown, and the seemingly impossible task he was given did not initially dissuade him. We should strive for a faith like that!

            We should strive for a faith that says, “No matter how many times I fall, I will get back up.” We should yearn for a faith that says, “God has commanded it, so I will do it, no questions asked.” We should live a faith that worries solely about loving God and keeping His commandments (John 14:15).

            It’s easy to be a “disciple in the boat,” to be a Christian when it is safe and doesn’t cause any personal discomfort or risk. It’s God’s expectation that we sacrifice our lives for Him, and have a faith that moves us to walk on water. The question is: “Do you have enough faith to sink?”