Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." (29) He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." (31) Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Peter was not putting Jesus to the test, something we are told not to do (Matthew 4:7). Instead, he was the only one in the boat to react in faith. His impulsive request led him to experience a rather unusual demonstration of God's power. Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him. His faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. We probably will not walk on water, but we may walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without faith in Jesus to help, we, too, may despair and sink. To maintain your faith when situations are difficult, focus on Jesus' power rather than on your inadequacies.
Although we start out with good intentions, sometimes our faith falters. This doesn't necessarily mean we have failed. When Peter's faith faltered, he reached out to Christ, the only one who could help. He was afraid, but he still looked to Christ. When you are apprehensive about the troubles around you and doubt Christ's presence or ability to help, remember that he is always with you and is the only one who can really help.
Too often we get it completely turned around what "great faith" is and what "weak faith" is.
We believe great faith is walking on water. That's pretty impressive isn't it? Peter steps out of the boat, and begins to walk towards Jesus. As long as his eyes were on Jesus he was fine, but when he begin to look at the waves and notice the wind, he began to sink. Jesus rescued him, took him back to the boat and said, "why is your faith so WEAK (little spirited)."
Wow, didn't expect that. Weak faith, even though he walked on water?
A few chapters before this one in Matthew 8, Jesus was asleep on the boat in the midst of a storm, and the disciples became offended at him, went and woke Him up with, "dont you care that we perish?" Jesus said, "why are you afraid, O you of little faith (little spirited)?"
Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm.
Two examples of Jesus calling the faith of His disciples, "weak, little spirited" But now lets look at who Jesus said "Great faith." Surely it must be someone who has raised the dead, or laid hands on everyone that was sick, and they were healed. That's got to be who He called "great faith".
Let's look at the story:
Matthew 15:22-28 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." (23) But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." (24) He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (25) But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." (26) And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." (27) She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." (28) Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.
Notice what happens: Jesus didn't answer at all at first. Then the disciples begged Him to send her away. Then Jesus said "I am only come for the lost sheep of Israel", this lady was a cannanite. Then Jesus said, "it's not right for me to give the childrens bread to the DOGS."
Dog was a term the Jews commonly applied to Gentiles because the Jews considered these pagan people no more likely than dogs to receive God's blessing. Jesus was not degrading the woman by using this term; he was reflecting the Jews' attitude so as to contrast it with his own. The woman did not argue. Instead, using Jesus' choice of words, she agreed to be considered a dog as long as she could receive God's blessing for her daughter
I would have been offended at Jesus. I would have bristled. I would have probably missed out on this miracle because of my offense. I would have walked off saying, "Jesus didn't act like I think He should, He didn't do what I thought He should."
But not this lady. She answered Jesus immediately, "even the dogs get the that fall from the masters table." Before a miracle ever took place, before the child was healed, Jesus said to this woman, "O woman, how great is your faith!" The miracle hadn't taken place yet, but Jesus has already called her faith great. What's going on here? By the way, her daughter was healed, AFTER Jesus said she had great faith!
I submit to you today that great faith is when you refuse to get offended at the ways, works and wonders of God. When you do not get the answer to your prayer that you are hoping for immediately, you do not get offended. You do not allow yourself to get angry at God. You trust Him, and His ways. That is GREAT FAITH
When you are constantly mad and offended at God because He doesn't move the way you think he should, then you are walking in WEAK FAITH.
Great faith trust God and His Word regardless what their eyes see.
Weak faith trust God ONLY if they see the answer immediately.
I refuse to get offended at God. I want to make the choice today, to celebrate and Trust His Word and Presence in my life.
"Lord, help me to be aware of weak faith and great faith. Because Your ways are so much higher than my ways, I will not always understand Your delays, or ways. Great faith is not getting offended at Your ways or delays. Great faith is trusting You, PERIOD. I know, that I know You have my best interest at heart. You WILL cause things to work together for the good of me and my family, because we love You and are called according to Your purpose. I do not want weak faith. I do not want to be offended at You. I trust You, I love You, I serve You and I praise You. In Jesus' name, amen!"