Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What Could You Do If You Were Not Afraid?

Matthew 14: 25 "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Fear is one of the greatest hindrances that will plaque your life. It is the wet blanket that stifles the flames of your hopes and dreams. Many a plans, ambitions and good intentions have died untimely deaths because of fear.

What do you fear? Speaking before a group of people? Dogs? Water? Losing your job? Have you ever thought to yourself, What could I do if I were not afraid? Just think about how awesome your life could be, that happiness you could experience, what you could accomplish, or the people you could reach.

Peter had the amazing experience of walking on water with Jesus, but it was cut very short because of his fear. At first he saw Jesus walking on water and that so motivated him that he forgot about the contrary wind and how the ship was tossed to and fro, and he stepped out on faith, believing in himself, and more importantly believing in Jesus. But once he was on the water, the reality of what was supernaturally occurring set in, and his mind rationalized that he could not do...what he was actually doing. His mind told him, "you can't walk on water" even though he was already doing it. Fear is a strange and powerful force, and the fearful threats we concoct in our mind are often much greater than what actually exists.

Jesus' response to Peter was intriguing. The Savior said, "Oh thou of little faith." What the Lord was trying to teach Peter that day, and what He is trying to teach us now is that fear and faith cannot exist in the same heart and mind at the same time. If you are of great fear, then you must be of little faith. Conversely, if you are of great faith, then it stands to reason that you are of...(say it with me now) LITTLE FEAR! Riiiiighttt...! You got it.

Here are some truths to remember about fear:

  1. Fear is natural, so don't be too hard on yourself for being afraid. We're all afraid of something, and God loves you, fears and all.
  2. A spirit of fear, or an overpowering fear that prevents you from being all that you are purposed to be and doing all that you are purposed to do, is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7).
  3. Ignoring your fear doesn't fix it, it feeds it. You can't overcome your fear of Bart the Bully by going the long way home from school, because your fear is not in him, its in you.
  4. When you feel consumed by your fears, remember that Jesus is always there with you; just call on Him and He will reach out His hand to help you.
Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, and even in the midst of the storms in your life you too can walk on water. Just remember, faith looks up and not around. Have faith in God, and you will start to see all the things that you could do, if you were not afraid.

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Try Jesus!

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