What does it look like when God grows our faith? Do we have a lightbulb moment or a big, life-changing experience? Actually, our faith grows in proportion to knowing Jesus. Check out these points from Matthew 14:22-33.
When God grows our faith...
He crushes our false notions of who He is. In Matthew 14:22, Jesus fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The people there were ready to make Him their king, and when Jesus saw what was going on, He compelled the disciples onto a boat to get away from the crowd. The people didn’t understand that Jesus was not coming to them as a king or conqueror; they had a false view of who He was. How do you know if you have the wrong view of Jesus? Have you been through a time of difficulty and struggled trying to figure out why God is doing that to you? That is an indication that you do not know Jesus well enough or what it means to follow Him. The Bible promises we will have difficulty; trials should not be a surprise.
He thrusts us into the middle of difficult storms. Matthew 14:23 says that Jesus later left the disciples and went up a mountain to pray. He was gone for awhile and sometime in between 3-6am, storms came upon the disciples in the boat. Were these storms random? No. Jesus is all-knowing, and He had pushed them to get into the boat in the first place. Difficulties never catch Him off guard. Every storm has been sovereignly permitted, and God has a purpose in it. You can feel closer to Him in times of storm than in times of peace, so if you are in a trial, don’t waste it or get bitter. Use it to look for Jesus.
He assures us of His identity in the storm. The disciples were afraid of the storm, so Jesus walked out on top of the water to their boat. He yelled out to them to take courage and not be afraid. He says, “It is I AM.” The disciples had underestimated who Jesus was, and we often need a reminder too. Sometimes it’s discouraging when we struggle with trials, but your faith will not grow outside of a difficulty. The storm leads to the Savior.
He wants to exercise new growth in our faith. In verse 28, Peter told Jesus to confirm it was Him by asking Peter to come to Him. Jesus did, so Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on top of the surface. Then he became afraid of the wind and waves and fell into the water. Jesus grabbed him and together they walked back to the boat. Peter’s faith was tested and he grew from it.
He gives us new reasons to worship Him as God. In verse 33 the disciples said, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” The disciples now saw Him in a different light. They still had more lessons to learn, but they slowly began to get who Jesus is. Don’t you wish you would only need one trial and then never struggle trusting after that? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. At any given moment in your Christian life, you are either in the middle of a storm or there is one on the horizon. Don’t resent that. It’s the way your faith grows.
Ultimately, remember the strength of your faith depends on getting to know the object of your faith. Imagine a dilapidated, broken chair. Would you sit in it? No, you would look for a sturdy one. You wouldn’t need to deliberate over why that old chair isn’t good enough; just looking at it is all you need. When the object of your faith is weak, your faith is too. So, if you want a strong faith, look for a strong object and get to know it better.
How are you attempting to grow in your faith? What storm are you enduring and how is it showing you the face of God? God wants to reveal His face to you in a new way through that storm. He grows our faith by confronting us over and over with the person and work of Jesus so that we can KNOW that when we have Jesus, we have everything we need.
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