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What the Bible Doesn’t Say

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

It’s a story we’ve heard many times in Sunday School growing up. It is a beautiful model of how we are to live our lives:

Matthew 14:22-33 (NLT) Jesus Walks on Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 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[a] 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![b]”

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[c] 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?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

“Why did you doubt me?”

What the bible doesn’t say: “Why did you doubt yourself?”

Why is this significant? Because our world today, in this wave of self-empowerment, says that if we dig deep, we can muster the power and strength within to do whatever we put our minds to. It sounds lovely, right? It sounds like a positive movement, a principle we should be instilling in ourselves and our children. But it is dangerous.

This passage says two significant things in one small paragraph:

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

1. Jesus GRABBED him. We can trust that Jesus is there for us if we are seeking him. And Jesus wanted Peter to focus on him, not on himself. Peter’s inward thoughts of doubt and fear led him away from Jesus. God is our source of strength. Psalm 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.“

2. Peter DOUBTED JESUS. This passage is in the midst of the disciples coming to understand who Jesus was and the significance of faith in Him. He is where we find our strength. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

There are so many powerful and inspiring quotes, memes, and phrases out in our world that appear close to the truth, but are so very wrong. Have you seen any of these in your social media feed?

What the bible DOESN'T say

Don’t misunderstand me; it is important that we go into this world with strength - that we do tackle hard things! But we need to know where our hope comes from. We need to have discernment when we take in the advice of our culture, and we need to see how it measures up with scripture.

When all is said and done, wouldn’t you want the comfort of knowing that we can rely on an all-powerful Creator of the universe instead of ourselves? Personally, I take comfort in the fact that our God has a plan. He is the source of my strength. And I don’t need to be wholly self-reliant.

“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6

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