CAN DOUBT LEAD TO FAITH?
Lord if it is you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water. Come, he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and , beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me! Matthew 14:28-30
We have all been there right? We have all been in the situation and we cry out to God and say God if you will get me out of this I promise that my life will be different. Or may it is more like, If there is a God, please show yourself so that I can finally have a faith that I can believe in. Or have you ever truly looked into space and thought, what if... what if all of this that I have put my faith in is really not real? If you have never done any of those things than I would have to question if you are truly telling the truth. We all have doubts and fears and we are all on this journey of sanctification that comes with many hills and valleys. During this time, we continue to ask questions and demand proof by placing our chips of faith on the table and saying to God, "You know how good I am, I just need you to prove that you really exist, that you really care about me, that I was created for a reason and a purpose." The world of DOUBT continues to suck us in and cause us to truly question our purpose on so many levels.
But I need you to understand that those voices that we are hearing in our ears and minds are nothing more than evil distractions, similar to the waves that hit Peter's feet, that want to cause us to take our eyes off Jesus and begin to sink into the sea of doubt. But the real question still remains, "Can Doubt Lead to Faith?" For me, I honestly say yes. See if we are really honest, it is in the doubts that are faith is stretched and tested. It is in the moments where we have to step out of our safety zone and rely on God to truly walk with us. The story
of Peter is an amazing example of how we all have some assurances, but that it is a constant battle to keep doubt out of our minds. See, for me the first part that was amazing to me is that Peter, as abrupt and headstrong and he was, called out to Jesus not out of doubt or fear, but out of hope and a willingness to find authentic faith. I cannot imagine all of the things that the disciples were able to be a part of as they were walking with Jesus, but one thing is for sure, it was not doubt that caused Peter to step out of the boat, the doubt stayed in the boat with the other disciples and the faith allowed Peter to walk on water.
Now stay with me here. I need all of us to truly think through the scenario. All of them saw Jesus on the water, and the scriptures said that the disciples were terrified because they thought it was a ghost. In the midst of this fear, Peter cries out to overcome his fear in a sign of humility and obedience to Jesus. The doubt of the earlier storm in Matthew 8 when Jesus was asleep and they thought that they were all going to die, but what happened, Jesus rebuked the storm not only physically but also the spiritual storm of doubt in their minds. So when the next opportunity arose, Peter was ready to follow Jesus, and his previous doubt led him into his current step of faith. No, it does not mean that his faith was perfect, it means that Peter's faith, like our own, was on a journey. It means that when we are willing to step into this journey with God, our faith has to be stretched. It does not mean that we will not have our shortcomings... it means that just like Peter, when the doubt tries to reenter our lives, we cry out and Jesus will be right there. There was no hesitation. Jesus was there instantaneously and that was because Peter's doubt led to his faith being stretched.
So the true question for all of us today is this, "Can OUR doubt lead to faith?" I know that I have been seeing the Faith over Fear in these times of uncertainty. And I know that many people hashtag the saying, but are they willing to truly step out of the boat and walk on the water. I know that the boat is security... the boat symbolizes where we are, but the boat also continued to hold their doubt. I really wish that when Jesus said, "COME", ALL of the
disciples would have got up and ran. But that is our reality for today. Doubt can definitely lead to us growing stronger in our faith journey, we just have to truly believe that God is the one that is calling us to come and not the world. We have to continue to keep our eyes fixed on Christ and realize, as I have said before, Jesus is right there with us. It is time to put our feet on the water and know that not only can we walk, but we can RUN to the SAVIOR. It's time to take the step and not live in the river of doubt any longer.