Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the
conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Courage
is the ability to do something that frightens
There is a direct link between faith and courage.
If our faith is strong, we'll be strong and courageous.
But if our faith is weak, we'll lack the courage
we need to stand strong as God's children.
Last Sunday we used Joshua as an example of someone
who was courageous because of his faith. And we
sang the song, "Dare To Stand Like Joshua" to
admonish us to be strong and take courage, just
as God commanded Joshua.
Long before Joshua became the leader of God's
people, he had a strong faith based on God's word,
as demonstrated by the good report he gave regarding
their ability to conquer inhabitants of the Promised
Joshua's strong faith resulted in the courage
to overcome his fears.
For the remainder of this article, we examine
three of Jesus' teaching in which he uses the
phrase "little faith" to learn more about faith
Strong Faith: Not Afraid
The story of Jesus asleep on a boat when awakened
by His disciples during a storm, shows us that
fear can be the result of weak faith.
- "When He got into the boat, His disciples
followed Him. And behold, there arose a great
storm on the sea, so that the boat was being
covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was
asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying,
Save us, Lord; we are perishing!' He said to
them, 'Why are you afraid, you men of little
faith?' Then He got up and rebuked the winds
and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The
men were amazed, and said, 'What kind of a man
is this, that even the winds and the sea obey
Him'" (Matt. 8:23-27)?
Observe the difference between Jesus and the
disciples. Jesus was not afraid, but the disciples
were so afraid, they thought they were perishing.
Why were the disciples afraid? They had little
Strong Faith: Not Doubt
On another occasion, the disciples were in a boat
during a storm and Jesus passed by them while
walking on the water. The disciples were afraid
and Jesus commanded them to take courage.
- "When the disciples saw Him walking on the
sea, they were terrified, and said, 'It is a
ghost!' And they cried out in fear. But immediately
Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Take courage,
it is I; do not be afraid'" (Matt. 14:26-27).
Then, Peter walked on the water with Jesus.
Everything was fine until he was frightened by
the wind, then he began to sink.
- "Peter said to Him, 'Lord, if it is You,
command me to come to You on the water.' And
He said, 'Come!' And Peter got out of the boat,
and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and
beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save
me!' Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand
and took hold of him, and said to him, 'You
of little faith, why did you doubt?' When
they got into the boat, the wind stopped" (Matt.
Why was Peter afraid? And why did he begin the
sick? He had little faith.
Strong Faith: Not Worry About Life
During the sermon on the mount, Jesus commands
His disciples not to worry about the necessities
- "'For this reason I say to you, do not
be worried about your life, as to what you
will eat or what you will drink; nor for your
body, as to what you will put on. Is not life
more than food, and the body more than clothing'"
Rather than worrying about life, we seek first
God's kingdom and His righteousness, and trust
Him to supply us with everything we need.
- "'Do not worry then, saying, "What
will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What
will we wear for clothing?" For the Gentiles
eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly
Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you'"
But if, by chance, we are worried about life's
necessities, it's because we have little faith.
- "'And why are you worried about clothing?
Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they
do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you
that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed
himself like one of these. But if God so clothes
the grass of the field, which is alive today
and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will
He not much more clothe you? You of little
faith'" (Matt. 6:28-30)!
Why do people worry about the necessities of
life? And why don't they put God first? They have
little, or no, faith.
As Christians, God is first in our lives because
of our strong faith based on God's word.
- "So faith comes from hearing, and
hearing by the word of Christ" (Rom.
- "For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes, to the Jew
first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).
And because of our faith, we are courageous.
We're not afraid to obey God, we don't doubt the
Lord, and we don't worry about the necessities