TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, August 20, 2019:
An unsettled state of opinion; indecision; a matter of uncertainty; an objection.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied tell me to come to you on the water. Come, He said. Then Peter got 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. Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. You of little faith, He said, why do you doubt?
Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating; He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We all have our times of doubt. Even the disciples had their times of doubt. Thomas is often referred to as “doubting Thomas.” Peter, we know had great faith but in Matthew 14:27-31 (above) we find that his faith also wavered and he experienced doubt.
After Jesus had fed the 5000 men, plus the women and children, He told His disciples to get in the boat and go before Him to the other side of the lake, while He was sending the multitudes on their way. Jesus then wanted some solitude so He went up to the mountain to pray.
When the disciples got to the middle of the sea, the wind came up and they were being tossed around by the waves. Jesus knew they were in trouble so He began to walk toward them on the waves. The disciples saw Jesus coming and they thought it was a ghost and they cried out with fear.
Jesus then spoke to them saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” But all of them doubted that it was Jesus. Peter was the first to respond by saying, “Lord if it is You: command me to come to You on the water?”
Jesus answered Peter by saying, “COME.” Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water but the storm winds were turbulent and he was afraid and TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF JESUS and cried out to the Lord to save him. Peter stepped out in faith but when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the life-threatening waves, he began to sink. He realized he needed help and cried out “Lord save me.”
At once Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him and said to him, “O you of little faith, why do you doubt?” When our faith wavers because we are going through difficult and threatening circumstances, we need to take our eyes off of our circumstances and focus them on Jesus and ask for His help.
It is when our faith is weak that doubt creeps in. Satan loves to see believers doubt because it makes us more vulnerable to his temptations.
Sometimes we doubt God due to our own unfulfilled expectations. The disciples had watched Jesus die on the cross. They had seen His body placed in the tomb. Now all their hopes were dashed. They did not understand that it was necessary for Jesus to die.
We read in Luke 24:21 that at least some of the disciples had hoped that Jesus was going to rescue the nation of Israel from their enemies and the oppressive rule of the Romans.
Some even thought that God would intervene and that Jesus would not really die. These followers of Jesus doubted because their expectations were not met. All eleven of the disciples had doubts that Jesus had really risen from the dead. It was only when Jesus actually appeared to them that they would truly believe. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and for doubting those who told them that they had seen Jesus after He was risen.
It is not uncommon for people to pray for something and then doubt God because He did not answer their prayers to meet their expectations.
All of us will at some time have doubts. Doubt is Satan’s tool to lead us into sin. Way back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) Satan tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s goodness and led her to sin.
When Jesus appeared suddenly to the disciples after His resurrection though the doors were locked, Thomas doubted it was Jesus. Jesus said to Thomas “See My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to Him, “my Lord and my God.”
Our memory verse for this week is found in Matthew 5:16.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Help me not to doubt who You are and may I realize that You are my God and my Savior. Help me not to doubt that You are with me every moment of every day. I pray that You would help me to strengthen my faith in You and let me walk close to You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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