“Have a Little Faith” / Week of 9-13-20
The first passage we consider this week is 2 Corinthians 4:6-10, in which Paul expressed that he and other Christians in his day were being “hard pressed” and “perplexed” by the troubles of the world.
- Do you think that Christians and churches are feeling “hard pressed” and “perplexed” today? If so, in what way?
- Are you feeling “hard pressed” and “perplexed”? If so, why?
Paul also said that even though he and other Christians were facing hard times, they were not being crushed, nor despairing, nor feeling abandoned. The probable reason why he felt empowered in the face of difficulty was because of his faith.
- What does it mean to have faith? What is the essence of faith?
The second passage for this week is Matthew 14:22-33, which is the story of Jesus walking on the water. The background of the narrative is that Jesus was grieving over the death of John the Baptist, and to cope with that sorrow he had to get away from everyone. He needed to be alone in prayer in order to deeply sense the presence of his Father and receive the comfort and strength required to keep going. His relationship of faith in the Father is what got him through.
- Have you found that getting alone with God has helped you get through tough times?
- Is being alone with God something you need now?
Matthew’s Gospel tells us that while Jesus was praying, the disciples were trying to cross the Sea of Galilee, but their boat faced strong winds and waves. In the middle of the storm, Jesus appeared to them walking on the water. The disciples were terrified, and Jesus told them not to be afraid. When Peter saw Jesus on the water, he did an amazing thing: he asked for the Lord to call him to come out on the water with him. Jesus did call, and Peter climbed down from the boat and began walking on the water toward Jesus! But the wind and waves scared Peter, who took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. Jesus lifted him up and said, “You have little faith. Why did you doubt?”
We can certainly see in this story that Peter’s faith was not as strong as it needed to be. However, we should not miss the point that Peter did have a “little faith,” and his small faith was enough to permit him to walk on water – even if it was only a few steps. In a similar way, if all we have is a little faith, it can be enough for amazing things to happen.
- Do you sometimes feel like a person who has little faith?
- What do you think you can do with a little faith?
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says that we carry the treasure of the gospel in “clay jars” or “earthen vessels,” as the King James Version says it, in order to show that “the all-surpassing power is from God.” This verse certainly emphasizes our weakness in comparison to God. But it also says that although we are like clay jars – fragile, breakable, sometimes cracked – we what God has chosen to carry the treasure of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, if you are feeling like you have “little faith,” or if you’re wondering if God can really use you, realize that as an “earthen vessel” you are precisely what God needs to do the work of Christ in the world. God can do amazing things with people who are willing.
- Is God calling you, like Peter, to “get out of the boat” and go to where Jesus is at work in the world?
What might Jesus want you to do in Trinity Baptist Church or where you live?