Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Confidence-- Matthew 14: 22-36

"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"  These words were uttered to Peter after Jesus rescued Peter from drowning after Peter walked on water to reach Christ who was also walking on the surface of the Sea of Galilee.  Peter had plenty of faith in Jesus to walk on the water--at first.  But then he took his eyes off the Lord and when he became thus distracted, he began to sink.  Peter's confidence failed him and at that moment, he failed Christ.

Jesus could, in fact, say the same thing to us, probably on a daily basis!  Peter's confidence was shaken by the wind and waves.  When his confidence in those things overtook his confidence in Jesus, he sank.  The same can be said about us.

All of us can relate to this story on various levels because, like Peter, we have all faltered in our faith and our beliefs in Christ which leads to a decrease in our confidence in Christ to see us through anything.  We may protest initially at this notion because we all would like to think that our faith in unwavering.  If Peter, who was the Apostle chosen by Christ Himself to lead the church, had his faith falter, who are we to think that we can or will escape the same fate?

Test your confidence in Christ.  Ask yourselves some of these questions or ones similar to them.

1.  Do I have more confidence in the stubbornness of my spouse, child, coworker, pastor, or parish council than I have in the power of Jesus to change their hearts?

2.  Am I more confident in the tendency of people to reject my witness to Jesus than I am in the ability of the Holy Spirit to spur them to respond to the Lord?

3.  Do I have more confidence that I won't have the finances or energy necessary to get by in life than I have in the ability of God the Father to supply me with the grace, love, and resources I need from day to day?

4.  Do I have more confidence in the staying power of my compulsions, addictions, sins, and personal shortcomings than I have in the ability of Jesus to overcome them and give me a victorious and pure life?

Of course, there are countless other questions that we could ask ourselves to check the confidence or faith we have in the Lord.  All of us have moments in which our faith in the Lord falters.  That really isn't all that important.  What is important is that we reach out to Christ for the strength and the grace to regain our balance and continue on our journey of faith and growth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We must learn to fix our gaze on the power of Christ (Heb 12: 2) instead of our problems.  "Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward" (Heb 10: 35).