Mathew 14. Forum Discussion

Topic: Fear and doubt

Perhaps the biggest teachable moment in this chapter is Jesus walking on the water and Peter’s reaction. Jesus sends His disciples out on the boat ahead of Him while He sent the crowds away. It was a stormy night as Jesus approached the boat by walking on the water. The disciples first reaction was to cry out in fear. Fear is a powerful tool that the devil uses against us. There are times in our lives where Jesus is making things happen for us, and then, like the disciples, fear creeps in and we lose faith in what Jesus is about to do.

Let us look at Peter’s reaction to Jesus walking on the water. Jesus spoke to them saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” This seemed to invigorate Peter’s courage and in verse 28 Peter says, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus replies, “Come!” Peter gets out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus! Everything was going great. Jesus calmed the water, He gave Peter miraculous powers to walk on the water, and then . . . doubt creeps into Peter’s head and he becomes afraid. As Peter’s doubt replaces his faith, he begins to sink. Instead of letting Jesus perform this miracle, Peter’s own fear and doubt deprive him of the opportunity that Jesus made readily available to him. Jesus responds, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Doubt is the opposite of faith and Jesus warns us to not let doubt rule our lives. James 1:5-8 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Most of us would say that we desire to have stronger faith and less doubt. The scripture is clear on how to accomplish both things.

To grow stronger in our faith requires us to be in God’s word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

If we want a stronger faith, we need to read the Bible more. We should not make it any more complicated than that. As our knowledge of the Bible grows, we will see for ourselves that it truly is the inspired word of God.

We need to ask ourselves this question. In times of trouble, who are we listening to? Are we listening to the world, or listening to God?

If we turn on the news or focus on what is trending on social media, there is a good chance that we will hear about the worst things that are happening in the world on any given day. That is not what God wants us to do.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” - Philippians 4:8.

The next time that doubt or fear surfaces in our lives, we need to open our Bibles instead of putting on the news or picking up our phones. If we desire an increased faith, we need to focus on God’s word, especially in times of adversity.

Listed below are some additional scriptures that talk about fear:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Mathew 6:34.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” - Psalm 23:4.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. ” - 1 Peter 5:6-7.

God created us. He knows what is good for us, and what is not. If we will listen to His commandments, we will experience His love, grace, comfort, and peace.

Comments

James A Guillory

How do we keep fear from overtaking us?
Do exactly what Peter did,keep His eyes on Jesus, but never to look away,it is when we look away from Jesus,the author and finisher of our faith that fear and doubt set in and we become weak and not able to accomplish what God has commanded us to do.once we have surrendered our lives to Christ we are born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise we have everything that we need to live a righteous and holy life without fear and doubt when we keep our eyes on Jesus that is the key! We must stay connected to Jesus remember in John 15 where Jesus said that he is the Vine and we are the branches if a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit apart from me you can do NOTHING!!

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Larry Patten

In today’s world, we can see all that is problems and issues around us. We can choose to listen to the voices that yell about who is right and who is wrong. We can observe more violence today toward our fellow people than ever before. It is presented every day on our screen if we choose to look at it. It can affect our heart and make us wonder about our future. How do we overcome it? We can choose! We look somewhere else! Not to ignore but to bring peace and with that peace, we may be able to influence one person. When we look we must look deep inside of ourselves. God has promised that we all have a connection to him. We have manifested within us a delight of our heart that is presented to us through the wonderful nature of our spiritual relationship that God has placed in our hearts just for us. We can feel it like a warm breeze on the back of our neck. We can feel it as if it is the warm glow of a fire. We can sense it in the grasp of our child's hand. That delight of our heart will not only tell us who we are but it will show us whose we are! Once we have found this delight we must commit to it fully. This commitment does not happen over time, not when we are comfortable. Commitment to God is not something we decide like we would choose a jacket to check the fit. We must commit in the twinkling of an eye, at that moment, driven by that delight of our heart. With that commitment, we must trust in Jesus to walk this journey in life with us. That trust that Jesus is there with us should provide within you a feeling of comfort and a trust in yourself that can come to you because you know you are okay in the eyes of Jesus. Now that we have that trust we must rest from the doubt and worry it causes by asking those questions for which we are afraid to find an answer. You see, when we fail to ask Jesus if he is there with us on this journey, doubt will creep into our life. Doubt causes us to worry as to whether we can “walk on the troubled waters.” Worry is a corrosive force that eats away at our trust which destroys our commitment and moves us away from the delight of our heart that God has given us. We are also an impatient creature. We want God to deliver to us NOW! We want him to make everything okay. Not his okay but ours! Not tomorrow, not next year, not in the next life. We want it now! But the final step in being comfortable in life's troubled times is that you must be willing to wait. You are on God’s time not your time! It is God's clock that controls not yours. It is the clock of your spiritual nature that tells you when the time has come, not the clock of your worldly nature that rules. Remember this time we spend here on this earth is but part of the Journey. There is more to come! Jesus is with you on the journey whether it is the best of times or times of challenge. You can walk on the water of troubled times if you continue to believe and stay connected through that delight of your heart.

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