Summary: Looking beyond the fears caused by doubt.
“No Fear” Series
Defeating the Doubt Monster
Looking Beyond Fear
I. Fear is…
a. Anxiety caused by real or possible danger, pain, etc.; fright
b. Awe; reverence
c. Apprehension; concern
d. Synonyms: (noun) fright, terror, horror, panic, dread, dismay, awe, scare, revulsion, aversion, tremor, mortal terror, cowardice, dread, timidity, misgiving, trembling, anxiety, phobia, foreboding, despair, agitation, hesitation, worry, concern, suspicion, doubt, qualm, funk, cold feet, cold sweat.
II. Fear = Doubt
Have you ever doubted anything? Has anyone ever asked you a question to which your answer was, “I doubt it”? I’m pretty sure all of us at one time or another have had certain doubts and fears. And the question is: Do those doubts defeat us, or do we defeat them? Do those doubts stop us from doing what we could do if we didn’t have them, or do we stare doubt in the face, tell it to move, and go on with our lives? Think about that. What have you done when doubts come to mind? If you’ve let doubts creep up on you, then you’re not reaching your full potential. I’m going to share with you three characteristics of a doubter, and 3 ways to defeat the Doubt Monster when he comes rearing his ugly head.
III. The Doubter Isn’t Stable
James 1:5-6 “5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
If there’s one thing in life that everybody wants, it’s stability. People want to know that they can go to work tomorrow and not worry about losing their job. They want to be able to stand on a stage here and not fall through. They want to be able to go to McDonald’s and get the Double Cheeseburger for a dollar every time. People like stability. When something is unstable, it is easily swayed one way or another. If you are unstable, you can be manipulated very easily. You’ll believe everything that everybody says. You’ll be gullible. The study guide in my Bible in reference to this verse says, “A double-minded man is a person drawn in two opposite directions. Because of his lack of sincerity, he sways between belief and disbelief, sometimes thinking that God will help him and at other times giving up all hope in Him.”
IV. The Doubter Doesn’t Do the Miraculous
Matthew 14:22-33 “22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."
28"Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
29"Come," he said.
30Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God.””
Peter walked on water…but not for long. Jesus equated Peter’s fear with doubt. So, he couldn’t continue to walk on water, or do the miraculous, because he doubted. He looked at the wind and thought, “The wind’s too much. I can’t make it out to Jesus now. What am I going to do?” Peter couldn’t do the miraculous when he doubted. At first, he wasn’t afraid, he didn’t doubt, and he started off walking on the water, but when he saw the wind, things changed. How about you? Have you ever started something with full force only to be faced with certain challenges that cause you to doubt and give up? Wedding Challenges- i.e. dresses not in on time, airline tickets, etc. You have to determine to look beyond fear, that is, forget about the fears that you have and follow through no matter what happens. That’s the only way you’ll be where God wants you to be. Because life is like a stormy sea and sometimes you have to get out of the boat and walk on water to get to where you want to go.