by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
By faith Peter walked on the water
What are the characteristics of this great faith? The first is this—it is a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and His power, with a steady trust and confidence in that. Now Peter ... starts off well and that is of the essence of true faith. Here was a man with the other disciples in the boat and with the storm raging round them. The sea and the wind were contrary and the boat was being tossed by the waves, and the position was becoming rather desperate. But suddenly our Lord appeared and when they saw Him they said, ‘Is that a man walking on the water? It is impossible—it must be some kind of a ghost, it is a spirit’. They cried out for fear, and straightway Jesus spoke and said, ‘It is I, be not afraid’. And then we have this magnificent exhibition of the essence of true faith by Peter. Peter answered Him, and said, ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water’. Now that is an indication of true faith for you see what it means; it means that Peter was saying in effect to our Lord, ‘If you really are the Lord, well, then, I know there is nothing impossible to you. Give proof of it by commanding me to step out of this boat in this raging sea and enabling me to walk on it’. He believed in the Lord, in His power, in His person, in His ability. And he did not believe in it merely theoretically. He tried it! We are told here, ‘And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water’. Now that is the essence of faith—‘Lord, if it be thou....’ That is what faith says: ‘If it is indeed You, well then I know You can do this: command me to do it.’ And he did it.... The Christian faith begins and ends with a knowledge of the Lord ... a knowledge of this Blessed Person.
Spiritual Depression, p. 155