Bold, brash, forward, hot-tempered, a natural leader–these are all words that might very well describe Peter during the early days of his calling to be one of Christ’s disciples. In fact, it was Peter who asked Christ to bid him to also walk on the water. We read of this account in Matthew 14:22-33.
Peter courageously took those first steps of faith and actually walked on the sea; however, we read that he then looked at his unbelievable circumstances and became afraid. He also started sinking into the water. It was at this point that he did something very right, he cried out to Jesus for help (verse 30)!
Indeed, he received that help–and a lesson from Jesus Christ. Jesus said to him, ” ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ ” (verse 31)
Doubt, fear, lack of faith–all are easy avenues of retreat when any of us are confronted with what seems to us to be insurmountable. That was the way a father who had a spirit-possessed son felt. Since the disciples of Jesus were not able to cast out the demon, the man pleaded with Jesus for help. We find this account in Mark 9. In verse 22, the father asks, ” ‘But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ “
We find the reply of Jesus in the next verse (23), ” ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ ” Continuing in verse 24, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ “
It is certainly true that as Christians we should be growing in faith. The more we plunge into this way of living with the added help of God’s Holy Spirit, the greater, too, should become our faith as we learn to trust God implicitly. We find this kind of total reliance on God in the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. After king Nebuchadnezzar threatened them with death, they replied, ” ‘If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
These three were saved. They had the kind of faith to fully believe that God would be able to deliver them. They were also willing to die in faith knowing that their physical lives were only a prelude to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. That is something that Jesus Christ also believed, and He died in order to bring about that great hope.
Jesus Christ died to save the world, and even He through Whom all things were created came to the ultimate test of faith. He willingly offered His own life in order that He might fulfill the supreme purpose of God. In the account of the death of Christ that is in Luke, we find this final statement from Christ: ” ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit’ ” (Luke 23:46).
This statement is the culmination of the way in which He lived His life. Jesus always sought help from God: “who, in days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7).
We all face the impossible, at least, so it might seem to us. We may falter in human relationships in which anger overwhelms us. We may face temptations and trials that cause us to stumble badly. We may even face situations in which our lives are on the line. When we do, we have this sure promise: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
Finally, when we do reach that point where everything seems hopeless, we need to turn to Him through Whom all things are possible with these words, “Lord, save me!” Along with this, let’s keep in mind some other words from Peter which he wrote near the end of his life: “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).