You of Little Faith, Why Did You Doubt?

The following article is an excerpt from "A Book of Bible Study"

by Joseph F. Harwood.


To download the book in PDF format, visit our home page at


In Matthew 14, we find an account of Jesus walking on the water during the night to catch up with His disciples who had left hours earlier in a boat. After he was sure it Jesus coming toward them and not a ghost, Peter got out of the boat and began walking toward Jesus on the water, but when he saw the turbulence of the wind and the waves around him, he became afraid and began to sink. He cried out to Jesus to save him, and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save Peter before he went under the waves and perished. Jesus then said to him: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).


Every account of events in the lives of God’s people that is recorded in the Bible is recorded for our benefit and instruction. This experience of Peter’s is both symbolic and characteristic of experiences that we as believers will have during the course of our own lives. With the winds of our own turbulent circumstances buffeting us, we too will become afraid, even though we have our Savior and His word in sight of us. In such times we may feel ourselves sinking in fear of the difficulties that confront us. Just when we think that we will drown in the midst of our troubles, we cry out to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “Lord, save me!”, and He reaches out His hand to rescue us and sustain us, proving the trustworthiness of the promises given to us in the Scriptures.


The day will also come when the arm of the Lord that rescues us will deliver us into His eternal kingdom, where we will forever be free of anything that threatens or causes grief. Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is the One who is called “Faithful and True” (John 1:1, 14, Revelation 19:11-13). Every promise that God has given to us through His word is completely trustworthy, faithful, and true, and may be relied upon fully.


One of the phases of life when we may become the most anxious about how we will obtain the things that we need to live is when we are getting older, and we no longer have the strength and stamina we once did. God’s promises apply no less at times when we need them more, and in fact the all-sufficient grace of Christ is given to us in even greater measure when we need it more (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). As we age, our weaknesses, afflictions and difficulties will increase in many ways, and it is at times like these when God’s grace and power doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves will be clearly manifested as something that He did for us, and not something that we attained through our own strength.


The psalmist wrote that the Lord takes delight not in those who are strong and capable, but in those who put their hope in His unfailing love (Psalm 147:10-11), relying on every promise that He has given to us through His word. Every promise of God given to His people is to be trusted and relied upon; none of them will fail. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).


God promised specifically to sustain His people in their old age when He spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying:


“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been borne by Me from birth
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:3-4)


Though we may think that we sustained ourselves in our own strength when we were younger and more physically capable, we have in fact been upheld by the power of God since the time we were conceived and carried by Him since we were born, and He has promised to sustain us and carry us to the end of our journey. When we feel ourselves sinking in fear of the troubles that surround us, let us not doubt, but let us know that our Lord will reach out His hand to sustain us and rescue us, just as He did for Peter. As God’s people we have been given many promises through His word, and among these are His promises of His help and His provision for our lives. 


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