And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:31 KJV)
Doubt, not the lack or absence of faith, is probably one of the most significant factors ruining our faith. Part of the reason it so dangerous is because it is so subtle in its workings that we often miss it. What is doubt, and how does it affect our faith?
In Matthew 14 above, Peter walked on water. Yes, he did the same thing Jesus was doing. So Jesus did not walk on water because He was God in the flesh. He lived as a Man filled with the Spirit, and Peter, by virtue of God’s Word, was able to do what the Master did. There is no question Peter had faith; otherwise, He will not walk on water in response to the words of Jesus.
However, something happened. It is the tragedy that often strikes our walk of faith. The sea waves started approaching. Peter saw the waves and fear filled his heart. He believed the word Jesus told him. He also believed that the waves could kill him, which is the origin of the fear. He believed two opposite things at the same time. Peter’s heart became divided. James 1:8 tells us a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Peter’s faith did not leave him. Something was added to his heart called unbelief. Faith ceased control when his heart was overwhelmed with fear. Doubt is faith and unbelief going on at the same time. If there is one problem that is polluting our faith, it is doubt. We believe God, but also believe what is contrary to what God has said. Life will bring storms when you believe the Word to introduce doubt into your heart. Believing God alone is not enough. We must also protect our hearts from doubt. We cannot control when the storms of life come. But like Jesus, we can train our hearts to see the waves and not allow them to fill our hearts with fear and plunge us into doubt.
What is doubt? How do you explain Peter’s heart being filed with faith and fear at the same time when he began to sink?
APPLY THE WORD
When it comes to healing of our bodies, believing that by His stripes we are healed is not enough. A critical component is what you believe when the pain increases in your body. We might believe that God is with us all the time. That is wonderful. The true test of your faith is what you believe when your emotions do not feel that presence. Just as faith is fed by the Word, unbelief or doubt is fed by the world. Be careful with the information you are taking in. You will not completely stop or eliminate fear but you can control whether it will control you. Watch out for the double-hearted individuals.
Ask the Spirit to help you protect your heart from doubt and unbelief.