Suggested further reading: Hebrews 12:1-12
Disciples can bring much trouble on themselves by unbelief. We
see Peter walking boldly on the water for a little while. But by and
by when he sees the boisterous wind he is afraid and begins to
sink (v. 30). The weak flesh gets the better of the willing spirit. He
forgets the wonderful proofs of the Lord's goodness and power
which he had just received. He considered not that the same Saviour
who had enabled him to walk one step must be able to hold him up
for ever. He did not reflect that he was nearer to Christ when once
on the water than when he first left the ship. Fear took away his
memory. Alarm confused his reason. He thought of nothing but the winds
and waves and his immediate danger, and his faith gave way (v. 30).
What a picture we have here of many a believer! How
many there are who have faith enough to take the first step in
following Christ but not faith enough to go on as they began. They take
fright at the trials and dangers which seem to be in their way. They look
at the enemies and the difficulties that beset their paths. They dwell
on them more than on Jesus and at once their feet begin to sink.
Their hearts faint within them. Their hope vanishes away. Their
comforts disappear. And why is all this? Christ is not altered. Their
enemies are not greater than they were. It is just because, like Peter,
they have ceased to look to Jesus and have given way to unbelief.
They are taken up with thinking about their enemies instead of
thinking about Christ. Maywe lay this to heart and learn wisdom.
How merciful our Lord is to weak believers! We see him
stretching forth his hand immediately to save Peter as soon as he cried
out (v. 31). He does not leave him to reap the fruit of his own
unbelief. The only word he utters is a gentle reproof (v. 31). How gentle
Christ is! He can bear with much and forgive much when he sees true
grace in a man's heart. As a mother deals gently with her child even
when wayward and froward, so Jesus deals gently with his people.
He loves and pities them, knowing their feebleness and bearing
long with them.
For meditation: Too many of the problems of Christians arise
from looking to self and looking to circumstances rather than looking