Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Devotionals: "You of little faith."

Matthew 14:22-34 (NIV)
Words of Christ in red.

(22) Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. (23) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, (24) and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

(25) Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. (26) When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

(27) But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

(28) “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

(29)Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

(31) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?

(32) And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (33) Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

(34) When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.  

If it had been you would you have had enough faith not to sink?

I'll be gut honest, the answer there is probably yes. While my mind can comprehend the words and the meaning, trust isn't built into my system. Trust isn't something built into my system, and even if I were watching Jesus with my own two eyes, it's one thing to know it is possible, but another to think myself capable of the same. 

How would you have felt when Jesus accused you of having "little faith"?

I don't mean to sound crass about this question, but honestly, "guilty as charged". I'm wouldn't necessarily happy about it, but I'd sooner admit the truth than deny the obvious. I don't shrug away from my situation. I may not be proud of it, just like I wouldn't be proud of any lacking in God's eyes. But I'm not likely to buckle in shame at an appropriate rebuke for it. 

Could Jesus accuse you of having "little faith" today?

This isn't an easy question for me to answer. I have faith, and I have never been at a point in my life where I doubted God was there. But the question becomes what is the measure of faith, and that is where I qualify my answer. I've never had a gun pointed at me and been told "deny God, or eat a bullet". I'd like to think that I'm more likely to eat the bullet than not, but that's more a factor of how I deal with coercion, than  one of  faith.

Faith in God is one thing, but faith to walk on water; that is another mater entirely. I know I've not been asked to walk on water myself, but as I discussed previously, my nature is to worry about things, and that, when taken to an extreme, is clearly against God's wishes. I don't spend my life worrying constant, and I don't spend my life lightly ignoring very real world risks out there. God probably can't accuse me of having no faith. And while "too much" faith is literally impossible, I think there is a line between trust and foolhardiness that need not be crossed. Like I said, I don't think God would accuse me of having no faith. And I hardly consider myself foolhardy on matters of my own well being. But in the ground between, I don't know that I am constant enough. I don't know how much faith I have when compared to how much I am supposed to have.

God may very well look down at me and consider me lacking in faith, I honestly do not know. 

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