Matthew 8:26 - Growing Faith that Works!

Matthew 8:26 - Growing Faith that Works!

Matthew 8:26 (NKJV) But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O 
you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the 
sea, and there was a great calm.  

Matthew 8:26 (NCV)  Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You 
don't have enough faith." Then Jesus got up and gave a command to the 
wind and the waves, and it became completely calm. 

Matthew 8:26 (CWK)  Jesus got up and said, "Why are you afraid?  
Don't you believe that God is watching over us?  Then He commanded the 
wind and the waves to stop.  And they did! 


Little faith (Gk. oligopistos) is not "no faith" (Gk. apistos), 
but "ineffective," "defective," or "deficient" faith (cf. 6:30). 
[ESV SB 2008]  


Jesus Calms the Storm


   The storm ceases. The billows sink to rest. The clouds roll 
away, and the stars shine forth. The boat rests upon a quiet sea. Then 
turning to His disciples, Jesus asks sorrowfully, "Why are ye fearful? 
Have ye not yet faith?"[1 R.V.]... 
   When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect 
peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in 
His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It 
was not as the "Master of earth and sea and sky" that He reposed in 
quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, "I can of Mine own 
self do nothing."[1 JOHN 5:30.] He trusted in the Father's might. It 
was in faith--faith in God's love and care--that Jesus rested, and 
the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of 
   As Jesus rested by faith in the Father's care, so we are to 
rest in the care of our Saviour. If the disciples had trusted in Him, 
they would have been kept in peace. Their fear in the time of danger 
revealed their unbelief. In their efforts to save themselves, they forgot 
Jesus; and it was only when, in despair of self-dependence, they turned 
to Him, that He could give them help. 
   How often the disciple's experience is ours! When the 
tempests of temptation gather, and the fierce lightnings flash, and the 
waves sweep over us, we battle with the storm alone, forgetting that 
there is One who can help us. We trust to our own strength till our 
hope is lost, and we are ready to perish. Then we remember Jesus, and 
if we call upon Him to save us, we shall not cry in vain. Though He 
sorrowfully reproves our unbelief and self-confidence, He never fails to 
give us the help we need. Whether on the land or on the sea, if we 
have the Saviour in our hearts, there is no need of fear. Living 
faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us 
from danger in the way that He knows to be best. DA333-7  

The storm terrified the disciples, but it didn't so much as 
raise an eyebrow on the Lord. Why the difference? Because Jesus 
trusted that God would get them to the other side.  [Life Principles SB 
By Charles Stanley] 

Although the disciples had witnessed many miracles, they 
panicked in this storm. As experienced sailors, they knew its danger; 
what they did not know was that Christ could control the forces of 
nature. We often encounter storms in our life, where we feel God can't 
or won't work. When we truly understand who God is, however, we 
will realize that he controls both the storms of nature and the 
storms of the troubled heart. Jesus' power that calmed this storm can 
also help us deal with the problems we face. Jesus is willing to help 
if we only ask him. We should never discount his power even in 
terrible trials. [Life Application SB re v. 25] 

Some people have "no faith" (Mark 4:40), while others have 
"little faith" (Matt. 6:30). God wants us to have "great faith" (Matt. 
8:10; 15:28). Faith is like a seed that grows if it is planted and 
cultivated in the heart (Matt. 17:20). The Word of God encourages faith 
(Rom. 10:17). As you exercise your faith in times of trial and 
testing, your faith grows and you glorify God (James 1:1-8; 1 Pet. 
1:1-9). It is faith, not feeling, that gives the victory (1 John 5:1-5). 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Mat. 8 & 9] 

The faith of the disciples was diminished by doubt, and so they 
were men of "little faith:" Faith is vital to the Christian life, and 
when it is weakened by doubt, the Christian's spiritual vitality is 
sapped. A shallow faith can give a false sense of security. The 
disciples believed they were safe as long as Jesus was awake. They were 
not appropriating safety in Jesus at all times.  In reality, doubt 
leaves one with no real trust in Christ. Seeing his serenity in sleep 
amid the threat of disaster, they doubted his concern for them. When 
adversity threatens, doubt nullifies his promises and his assurance. A 
doubting faith enables one to meet difficulty but is not sufficient to 
carry one through to the end. The disciples' faith got them involved 
with Jesus, but their faith wavered in the storm. It is at the 
critical moment that "little faith" plays out. By proper testing and 
exercise "little faith" will grow like the mustard seed to greater 
stature. Because every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we 
win the victory over the world by means of our faith. 1 John 5.4 
[Daily Devotional Bible] 

   It is by faith that God's mighty power is released into the 
life of a Christian (Heb 11:33-35). The fact that you have doubts 
indicates that you do not know God as you should. If your prayer life is 
infiltrated with doubts, you have denied yourself the greatest, single 
avenue of power that God has made available to you. Without faith it is 
impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). God never comforts you in your doubt. 
Jesus consistently rebuked those who would not believe Him. He had 
revealed enough of Himself for His disciples to have believed Him in 
their time of need. 
   God wants to build your understanding of Him until your faith 
is sufficient to trust and obey Him in each situation (Mk 9:23-25). 
The moment you turn to Him with a genuine commitment to rid yourself 
of doubt, God will match your doubt with a revelation of Himself 
that can convince you of His faithfulness. When Thomas doubted, Jesus 
revealed Himself to him in such a way that every doubt vanished (John 
20:27). You can only resolve your lack of faith in God's presence. He 
must reveal Himself in such a way that any doubt you might have is 
removed. Jesus did this with His disciples. He involved them in a 
consistent, growing relationship with Himself. Jesus took them through 
teaching, to small miracles, to large miracles, and to the resurrection. 
Jesus knew that the redemption of the world rested on His disciples' 
believing Him. What does God want to do in the lives of those around you 
that waits upon your trust in Him and the removal of your doubts? 
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Mat. 8:25, 26] 

   When we are afraid, the least we can do is pray to God. But 
our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His name have an 
underlying confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident 
in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable. Yet 
our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to 
the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not 
even know God. We come to our wits' end, showing that we don't have 
even the slightest amount of confidence in Him or in His sovereign 
control of the world. To us He seems to be asleep, and we can see 
nothing but giant, breaking waves on the sea ahead of us. 
   "... O you of little faith!" What a stinging pain must have 
shot through the disciples as they surely thought to themselves, "We 
missed the mark again!" And what a sharp pain will go through us when 
we suddenly realize that we could have produced complete and utter 
joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, 
in spite of what we were facing. 
   There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our 
lives, and we do all that is humanly possible. But it is when a crisis 
arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been 
learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will 
reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking 
our confidence in Him. 
   We have been talking quite a lot about sanctification, but 
what will be the result in our lives? It will be expressed in our 
lives as a peaceful resting in God, which means a total oneness with 
Him. And this oneness will make us not only blameless in His sight, 
but also a profound joy to Him. [My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald 

   The storm that came up that night struck terror in these 
veteran fishermen's hearts. Would they be shipwrecked? Would they 
perish? They panicked and doubted whether Jesus was aware of or even 
cared if they drowned. Like the disciples, we sometimes get into 
troubles that feel so overwhelming, storms that rage so furiously, that 
we're sure our boat is about to be swamped and we'll drown. It may 
seem to us--as it did to the disciples in today's verses --that Jesus 
is sleeping, that he is unconcerned and unaware of our plight, and 
we cry, "Lord, save us!" When we are panicked and overwhelmed, 
Jesus asks us as he did that day on the Sea of Galilee, "Why are you 
afraid? You have so little faith!" 
   Though the storms will come again and again, Jesus is always 
with us and is working within us through these experiences to develop 
a faith that can withstand any tumultuous trial, any waves of 
   Oh, LORD, we forget that you are in the boat with us, that 
you rule over the wind and waves and storms in our lives. Increase 
our faith so that even in the midst of great turbulence we will not 
panic but will trust you to care for us. Let our spirits be able to 
rest at all times because your presence is always greater than any 
stormy circumstance we will face. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller 
re vv. 23-26] 


The healing of Peter's mother-in-law was the first of several 
miracles that Jesus performed especially for Peter. On two occasions, He 
enabled Peter to catch many fish (Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-8), and He even 
helped him catch one fish with a coin in its mouth (Matt. 17:24-27). 
Jesus enabled Peter to walk on the water (Matt. 14:22-33). When Peter 
cut off the ear of Malchus, Jesus healed it (Luke 22:50-53); and He 
delivered Peter from prison and death (Acts 12). No wonder Peter wrote, 
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Mat. 8 & 9] 

In Psalm 64 king David asked to be preserved not from the enemy 
but from the fear of the enemy. Fear and faith cannot live in the 
same heart (Mark 4:40). If the enemy can make you afraid, he has 
almost won the battle. A calm heart makes a confident soldier. [Chapter 
by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Psa.64] 


Christ's question after He had stilled the storm is one we can 
ask ourselves when we face trials or danger today: "Why are you so 
afraid?" The question seems a foolish one if we look only at the tossing 
waves and hear only the shrieking winds. If we stop to realize that we 
are never alone, but Christ Himself is with us, the question is 
prudent indeed. Jesus has all power, and He can use it to deliver those 
who are His. Nothing can touch us that He does not permit. We have 
no need to go through life "so afraid." [The 365-Day Devotional 


Little faith produces fear instead of prayer. [Disciple SB]

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

   Read this verse: "Then those who were in the boat worshiped 
Jesus and said, "'Truly you are the Son of God!'" (Matthew 14:33). 
   After the storm, [the disciples] worshiped him. They had 
never, as a group, done that before. Never. Check it out. Open your 
Bible. Search for a time when the disciples corporately praised him. 
   You won't find it.
   You won't find them worshiping when he heals the leper. 
Forgives the adulteress. Preaches to the masses. They were willing to 
follow. Willing to leave family. Willing to cast out demons. Willing to 
be in the army. 
   But only after the incident on the sea did they worship him. 
   Simple. This time they were the ones who were saved. [Grace 
For The Moment SB By Max Lucado re vv. 25, 26] 

There is another spiritual lesson in this miracle of the 
stilling of the tempest. Every man's experience testifies to the truth of 
the words of Scripture, "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when 
it cannot rest. . . . There is no peace, saith my God, to the 
wicked."[2 ISA. 57:20, 21.] Sin has destroyed our peace. While self is 
unsubdued, we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no 
human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples 
to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of 
Galilee, has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the 
tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, "Lord, save us," will find 
deliverance. His grace, that reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of 
human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. "He maketh the 
storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad 
because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven."[1 
PS. 107:29, 30.] "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ," "The work of righteousness shall be 
peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance 
forever."[2 ROM. 5:1; ISA. 32:17.]  DA333-7  


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