After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:23-31)
After the amazing feat of feeding the five thousand, Jesus went off by himself, but then reappeared to his disciples. Peter was not putting Jesus to the test, something we are told not to do (Matthew 4:7). Instead, he was the only one in the boat to react in faith. His impulsive request led him to experience a rather unusual demonstration of God’s power. Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves around him.
Although we start out with good intentions, sometimes our faith falters like Peter’s. This doesn’t necessarily mean we have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he called out to Jesus, the only one who could help. He was afraid, but he still looked to Jesus.
We may not walk on water, but we do walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without looking to Jesus for help, we too may despair and sink. To maintain your faith when situations are difficult, keep your eyes on Jesus’ power rather than on your inadequacies. When you are apprehensive about the troubles around you and doubt the Holy Spirit’s presence or ability, remember that he is the only one who can really help you.