“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matthew 14:31
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 51:9-16
Why did Simon Peter doubt? He doubted for two reasons. First, because he looked too much to second causes, and secondly, because he looked too little at the first cause. The answer will suit you also, my trembling brother. This is the reason why you doubt, because you are looking too much to the things that are seen, and too little to your unseen Friend who is behind your troubles, and who shall come forth for your deliverance. See poor Peter in the ship—his Master bids him come; in a moment he casts himself into the sea, and to his own surprise he finds himself walking the billows. His foot is upon a crested wave, and yet he stands erect; he treads again, and yet his footing is secure. “Oh!” thinks Peter, “this is marvellous.” He begins to wonder within his spirit what manner of man he must be who has enabled him thus to tread the treacherous deep; but just then, there comes howling across the sea a terrible blast of wind; it whistles in the ear of Peter, and he says within himself, “Ah! Here comes an enormous billow driven forward by the blast; now, surely, I must, I shall be overwhelmed.” No sooner does the thought enter his heart than down he goes; and the waves begin to enclose him. So long as he shut his eye to the billow, and to the blast, and kept it only open to the Lord who stood there before him, he did not sink; but the moment he shut his eye on Christ, and looked at the stormy wind and treacherous deep, down he went.
For meditation: The Christian is in a battle against unseen enemies. The shield of faith helps us to fight and, having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:12-16); to put it down for a moment and to rely on sight is to risk falling in battle.
Sermon no. 246
3 April (1859)