Ryle: The prayer even of “little faith” is heard


And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
(Matthew 8:25-26 ESV)

J. C. Ryle comments on Matthew 8:23-27

We are told of our Lord and His disciples crossing the sea of Galilee in a boat. A storm arises, and the boat is in danger of being filled with water, by the waves that beat over it. Meanwhile our Lord is asleep. The frightened disciples awake Him, and cry to Him for help. He hears their cry and stills the waters with a word, so that there is “a great calm.” At the same time, He gently reproves the anxiety of His disciples. “Why are you fearful, oh you of little faith!”

What a vivid picture we have here of the hearts of thousands of believers! How many have faith and love enough to forsake all for Christ’s sake, and follow Him wherever He goes, and yet are full of fears in the hour of trial! How many have grace enough to turn to Jesus in every trouble, crying, “Lord save us,” and yet not grace enough to lie still, and believe in the darkest hour that all is well! Truly believers have reason indeed to be “clothed with humility.”

Let the prayer “Lord, increase our faith,” always form part of our daily petitions. We never perhaps know the weakness of our faith, until we are placed in the furnace of trial and anxiety. Blessed and happy is that person who finds by experience that his faith can stand the fire, and that he can say with Job, “though he slays me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15.)

We have great reason to thank God that Jesus, our great High-priest, is very compassionate and tenderhearted. He knows our frame. He considers our infirmities. He does not cast off His people because of defects. He pities even those whom he reproves. The prayer even of “little faith” is heard, and gets an answer.

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2 thoughts on “Ryle: The prayer even of “little faith” is heard

  1. I love this. In my Bible study this morning, we were discussing Luke 7:1-17. The first story is about the centurion who’s servant was about to die. He had great faith and Jesus healed the servant. The next story is about a widow about to bury her only son. Jesus had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead. It says nothing at all about her faith. She may or may not have had faith but that didn’t stop Jesus from having compassion for her. He responded to her pain in the same way he responded to the centurion of great faith’s pain. Little faith or great faith, He is God and He is capable.

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