March 17, 2017: Doubting Peter

Morning: Matthew 14:22-36; Noon: Deuteronomy 21:10-23:14; Evening: Psalm 47

Doubting… Peter? Surely, you mean to say, “Doubting Thomas”! While I would not doubt for a moment that Thomas qualified as one of those doubters among the twelve doubting the Lord’s resurrection, Peter is the only apostle to be called out by the Lord individually and specifically as he who was in doubt about the Lord during the boat scene (Mat. 14:31). As soon as those winds began to blow Peter cried out with a howl that probably matched the howl of those winds. His walk on water was miraculous for a moment, but was cut short like a bad film. “Lord, save me!” The fisherman couldn’t even perform what was natural to most men, a simple swim after his fail. When Peter was high, he was very high. When Peter was low, he was very low!

I often feel this way about those who desire to begin setting their footsteps in the same direction as Peter did, feet pointed straight toward the Lord. They seem to start with such confidence. They make sudden and quick commitments to begin worshiping regularly with God’s people. They want to bring the gospel to the world and tell all their friends and family about it. They want to change the way they live and put old things behind them. With Christ on their side they feel like they can walk on water themselves. They are high, very high! But then with a speed that could possibly outmatch the quickness with which they took flight, their plane lands and they don’t even make it off the airstrip! Where did they go? Why did they stop attending?! Didn’t they realize this race was a marathon, not a sprint? Didn’t they know these spiritual wounds will take some time to heal? How quickly they fell low, very low!

Jesus must have been close when Peter fell. Matthew says He “stretched out His hand and caught him” (14:31). The Lord is always near to them who draw near to Him (Jam. 4:8). He is man’s Helper (Heb. 13:6). Maybe that was secondary part of Peter’s fault. Maybe Peter should have asked for help as soon as he felt the winds tugging him down. Asking the Lord to “increase your faith,” is a legitimate request after all (Luke 17:5). Maybe the winds are tugging on you right now? Maybe you feel yourself sinking in a pit. Why not lift the prayer of the Psalmist, “Help, Lord…” (12:1)? Why let yourself sink when God’s hand is just an arm’s length away? Ask for His help. Don’t doubt.

For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” ~ James 1:6

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