The right kind of doubt!
The Introduction: It need not discourage us if we are full of doubts. Healthy questions keep faith dynamic. Unless we start with doubts we cannot have a deep-rooted faith. One who believes lightly and unthinkingly has not much of a belief. He who has a faith which is not to be shaken has won it through blood and tears—has worked his way from doubt to truth.
I. Just after the miracle where 5 thousand people were fed with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Jesus put the disciples on a boat and dismissed the crowd.
1-The disciples had assisted in the miracle, scripture tells us that they were the ones who received the food to pass to the crowds after Jesus broke it and blessed it.
II. After Jesus had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. He had to have been in prayer for a while because the Bible says that, when evening came, he was there alone.
III. Careful reading of this passage lets us know that, the whole time that Jesus was praying the disciples were out at sea in the midst of the storm.
1-Can you imagine the feelings of those on the boat? Out in the darkness, tossed back & forth & separated from the thing that you know could save you. 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
2-Matthew was on the boat, he was the one that the Bible tells us when called by Jesus he left all and followed Him (Luke 5:27-28). How do you think that he felt knowing that the one he gave up all to follow was not with him in the storm.
3-Have you ever felt like that? Jesus not being there when you need him.
IV. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. Spending a night in a storm can mess with your senses and cause you to have a problem recognizing the very one that comes walking on the water to save you!
V-27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." That is an answer that should have brought some comfort. . . . . what they had been praying for finally came to them.
1-Take a little time and consider Peter’s answer: 28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 2-29 He said, "Come." Jesus hears us & Jesus answers, so we always should becareful just what it is that we go to him with!
VI-." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
1- Doubt is such a human thing but doubt can drown you. We all know that a Christian must bear the cross. In theory we are all prepared to accept one. But you will no doubt have noticed that the cross that comes our way is never the right one. The cross we bear (our health, our face, our circumstances, our family, our stupid job, our failure—or our stupid success) always seem to us to be intolerable, mean, humiliating, harmful. . . . Desperately we call for another, a cross made to our own size, a cross which will be bearable, spiritual, elevating,beneficial to ourselves and to others. - Louis Evely (1910– )
2-As long as you are holding on to Jesus hand all of the things that rage around you no longer are the strongest things in the area!
VII-32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
VIII-33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." How many miracles will it take before the disciples believe?
The Conclusion: Yesterday I hung on the cross with Christ; today I am glorified with him; yesterday I was dying with him; today I am brought to life with him; yesterday I was buried with him; today I rise with him. Let us become like Christ, since Christ also became like us. Let us become gods for him, since he became man for us. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–c. 394)