Gardeners use a seed-bed to germinate seeds. A seed-bed creates conditions that are ‘most conducive to a favorable outcome’,
Surprisingly, the opposite of faith is not doubt or even unbelief. These are merely symptoms of the pathogen that infects and ultimately destroys faith.
Sometime between 3 and 6 a.m. (the fourth watch), utterly exhausted after what seemed like endless hours battling heavy seas and contrary winds, the disciples encountered a ghost. As if the forces of nature hadn't amplified their anxiety beyond the level of endurable stress, unknown spiritual forces from the realm of the unseen now confronted them in the form of an apparition moving toward them! They were “terrified and screamed out in fear”.
Instantly. Jesus injected a word of faith into a situation fast spinning out of control. “Take courage! I AM, the Almighty One, is present! Stop being afraid!”
Upon hearing the incredible claim that what they saw was not a ghost but was in fact Jesus, Peter blurted out, “Prove it's really You, Lord, by demonstrating the power of Your word over these violent winds and waves that threaten our very lives: command ME to come to You.”
Jesus' reply was simple, calm but commanding, “Come.”
With bravado characteristic of his impetuous nature, Peter stepped out of the boat, onto the water and walked to Jesus. By faith, albeit impulsive, Peter transcended the physical world and walked in the unseen world that is defined and sustained by the Word of His power.
“But when Peter perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened and as he began to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me from death!'” Instantly, Jesus reached out, caught Peter by the hand and steadied him.
“Why did you doubt?” Jesus asked. “You are indeed a man of little faith, but do you not see that what little faith you have was sufficient to activate the power to walk on water? Why did you give in to fear, which negated your faith, paralyzed you with doubt, leaving you sinking to your death?”
The opposite of faith is fear, which breeds doubt and unbelief. Fear strangles faith, and leaves a caustic residue of doubt and unbelief. Left unchecked, fear, doubt and unbelief will cause us to sink like Peter to our death.
What is the antidote for fear?
“There is no fear in love, dread does not exist; but full-grown, complete, perfect love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror.” (1 John 4: 18 AMP) When fear is removed, when love is full-grown, perfect and complete, faith explodes.
Our Father's perfect love is the seed-bed of the seedlings of faith.
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