It must have been difficult being a disciple of Jesus. I mean, it was certainly awesome. But it was a high visibility and high accountability environment. When you combine those two elements, it was without doubt a pressure cooker of stress. Jesus was obviously very gracious, but still, could you imagine Him calling you out?
On several occasions we see Jesus holding the disciples to a higher standard, and it just feels painful. More than once He rebukes them for their ‘little faith.’ Now I’d say it took a fair amount of faith just to devote your life to following and learning from Jesus. But when they would fall short, Jesus loved them enough to tell them, “Come on, guys. I expect more from you.”
Remember when the disciples traveling in a boat through a storm? They saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter got out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water. He became distracted by the wind and waves and began to sink, calling upon Jesus to save him. Jesus pulled him up from the water and brought him to the boat. He then said, “Oh you of little faith.” Really?!? The only one of the disciples to actually venture onto the water… and he had little faith? That’s because our faith is not measured against others when it is our time of failure.
We have all had moments of little faith, and even no faith. Those are difficult times. We sink without faith. I think most of us would like to have more faith. We want stronger faith. But are we doing what we are supposed to do to have more faith? Faith is first and foremost a gift from God. We think of faith as a rock. But faith is more like a seed or a muscle, than a rock. God gives us a bit of faith that can grow and become stronger.
We don’t necessarily have Jesus or someone in our lives who audibly calls out, “Hey David… you are so weak in your faith today,” but we know when our faith is weak. Sometime trials come when our faith is very low, and our faith level is exposed for what it is. Perhaps it is so dramatic that others see it. In those times we may start going to church more, or praying more, or reading our Bibles more. Then our faith begins to grow. Why?
The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome…
“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Faith comes from the Word of God. You will not have strong faith without the Word of God. It is impossible. Show me someone who is not in the Bible, and I will show you someone who is weak in the area of faith. Show me someone who has a strong and growing faith, and I will show you someone who is in the Word and has the Word in them.
You may think… “It can’t be that simple.” Why wouldn’t it be? God isn’t trying to keep us in a small faith realm. He has provided everything we need for life and Godliness. God gives us food to grow physically. Why wouldn’t He give us food to grow spiritually? He has. So why would we constantly wait until we are sinking in life’s storms before we call out to the Word of God to save us.
Today you probably want more faith. Get into the Word. In fact, I challenge you to be in the Word for the next 7 days and see what God does in your faith life. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.