Andy Stanley said, “Fear is the ability to remember what happened in the past and to project into the future.” This is a good thing. Fear is not all bad . . .
“By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it.” Matthew 14:22
Your whole life, you are always going to have something or someone blowing against you. It doesn’t matter what boat you are in, who is in the boat with you or where you are headed. There will be times when life hits you in the face. Just simply life circumstances. The death of a loved one. The hurt of being stabbed in the back by a friend or family member. Not getting the grade or something else that you think you deserve. A big break up. Falling short on the ACT to get in the college of your first choice. Un-expectantly getting pregnant . . .
The reality is, you are going to get beat up emotionally and relationally in life. You have to get that straight. You need to have healthy expectations as a Christian. The further your expectations are from reality, the more pain and frustration you set yourself up to have. . . Don’t expect life to be easy with no hurt or pain because you love Jesus. Remember this world is full of other people.
There are a couple stories about Jesus and His disciples in a boat. One, Jesus is actually in the boat . . .
25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus quickly spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.”
29 Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind became calm. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “Truly you are the Son of God!” Matthew 14:25-33
The disciples in the boat were so afraid they didn’t even recognize that it was Jesus who was walking toward them. They didn’t know it was Jesus who was trying to get to them.
I want to be in such alignment with Jesus that He never has to calm my fears. I want to know and believe so deeply in who I am in Christ that I don’t allow fear to affect me.
Kelly Barcol, our Chaplain Role Champion for Faith RXD said; “I don’t struggle with the fear of spooky things. I’m really not afraid of people or something bad happening to me.” There are many different fears that people struggle with.
Kelly said for him it has always been a fear of failure. He said, “I failed so much growing up that it’s just always been a struggle for me. I always feared I would fail college. Early on, I feared I would fail as a husband. As I got older and planted a church, I feared I would fail. Now that I am a business owner of a CrossFit gym, I’ve had to fight the fear of failing. When I signed some papers to borrow over a million dollars to build a community center, I had to battle the fear of failure.”
After signing those papers he had a situation where some close friends inside his CrossFit Winnersville got with a couple of coaches behind his back. They all made a plan to leave the gym, take as many people with them as they could get and start their own. As you can imagine, his fear of failure kicked into overdrive.
To the point that he just wanted to go ahead and give up. Kelly saw a homeless guy on the street and actually thought about how nice that life could be for him.
About this time as he was spiraling downward in his fear of failing, A friend came to his house in the middle of the day in the midst of all of this to encourage him. They sat out on the porch and he reminded Kelly of this story about Peter getting out of the boat.
“Jesus is like, ‘Don’t let fear keep you from believing how close we are. Don’t let fear of failure cause you to forget who you are in Christ. Don’t let fear of failure keep you from pursuing what God has created you to do. Don’t let fear keep you from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose in you and through you!'”
You remember what Jesus said when Peter asked if He could come to Him? Jesus said, “Come.” Let me tell you, any time you want to come to Jesus, anytime you want to get to Jesus, you know what He’s gonna say? Come on!
But really, can we ever get any closer to Jesus? I mean, I know a lot of people grow up with this thought of; being good gets me closer to Jesus. Being bad gets me further away. But is that true? No! It’s really not Biblical.
However, doesn’t Jesus Himself say that He and the Father are one and He is in you and you are in Him.
On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you. John 14:20 That day that Jesus ascends and the Holy Spirit come in. That day has already happened!
All of our fears are just winds and waves! Any negative thoughts about the hurt experienced from friends… wind and waves. Any thoughts about what could happen in the future because of life’s circumstances… just wind and waves.
I can live with confidence that I am one with Jesus, just like Jesus is one with God. I really can be like Jesus, even in tough circumstances. I can trust that I am going to be fully taken care of by my eternal heavenly father.
Kelly was starting to sink because of his own fears, not because Jesus wasn’t there! He started to sink because he got out of alignment with who he is in Christ. Jesus was always there. Trust in Jesus replaced his fear, renewed confidence in Christ gave him courage. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that I am one with someONE who is greater than someTHING that is going on in my life.
We have to focus on Jesus! Remember that he loves you and He is for you, He wants to help you like a Dad wants to help his kid.
You know why you don’t have to worry? Cause He’s your Daddy. You know why we don’t ever have to be afraid of anything life throws at us or how its going to turn out? Because He’s our Daddy. You know why we can live with confidence that all things will work out for our good when we love God? Cause He’s our Daddy.
Question for Small Group:
- Whats the difference between living like God is a Good Good Father and living like God is untrustworthy Dad?
- How can our actions be like Jesus when things in our lives aren’t going good?
- How is your relationship with Jesus changing how you think and live?
- If Christ is in us and we are truly in Him, how should this impact our attitudes and actions in our everyday lives?