Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ Matthew 14:31
The Basic Bible Truth
What if Peter had not let doubt cloud his trust in Jesus? As Christians, God’s desire for us is that we grow in our trust of Him. As our faith increases, God is able to set ever larger challenges in front of us, and as we overcome those, our faith is increased even more.
An Assortment Of Pipe Wrenches
I have, due to my occupation, over time, collected an assortment of pipe wrenches of varying sizes. The smallest is about 4 inches long, but I couldn’t find it for the picture. The largest, is a 36 inch monster. And of course, everything in between—8,12,16, and 20 inch wrenches. The larger the wrench, the larger the nut or bolt or pipe I can tighten or loosen.
Jesus lived a perfect example of a perfect life. We as Christians would do well to emulate His accomplishment to the best of our abilities. Even Jesus’ disciples noticed that, as He walked this earth, He trusted God the Father implicitly. At one point, they were so amazed at what He was doing, they blurted out, “Lord, increase our faith.” God does not reach down into our lives and suddenly instill a huge amount of faith. While it is true that our faith comes from God, His general method of increasing our faith is through experiences that He places in our paths. We see Him work and are amazed at His providence.
As we go through life, we learn in small steps that God is trustworthy and faithful. We build upon our past experience, and grow in increments, usually small steps, but we do grow. Understand, I am not talking about what might be called “hyper-faith”, or having enough faith to guarantee an outcome. There are those that teach that if I have enough faith, God is obligated by contract, by promise, to fulfill His promise. I disagree. God is sovereign and as such, does not need to answer to us. We are not so important in ourselves to obligate a Holy God to anything whatsoever.
Keep in mind that we are talking about the object of our faith and not the quantity or quality of our faith. We are capable of doing nothing. But God is. When Jesus talked about uprooting mulberry trees, He talked of a faith like a small seed of mustard. It is not the amount of faith that we can amass that makes a difference. It is totally on the person we are looking towards—God.
Our growth in faith allows God to push us along in our walk with Him. Remember, His goal is to bring us to a maturity in which we have a close relationship with Him. I cannot find a passage that states that the goal of God in the Christian’s life is to give them health and money. I do find many passages that talk of relationship, though. He created us for this very purpose, and our physical well being often takes our focus away from Him and places it on ourselves. It’s why He warns us about money far more than He talks of Heaven and its rewards. It is all about God—not us!
As our faith grows, we use our faith to look towards Him. It is a tool. Bigger projects require bigger tools. If faced with the aspect of having to turn a very large bolt, I relish the idea that I have in my possession a large enough pipe wrench to accomplish the task. But I don’t use it for watch repair. That requires a much smaller set of tools. God sees our faith as a tool for Him to use. We may have big tasks or small. The important thing is that we have the necessary tool for the task at hand, and use it to look towards Him.
Uprooting mulberry trees is God’s work. We get to witness the event and even participate in the uprooting process as common laborers, but it is, at the end of the day, God who pulls the tree up by the roots and tosses it aside. Remember, the Bible is the key to this entire mystery. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.