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Summary: Principles of growing through our fears from the life of Peter and his walking on the water.

Growing Through Your Fears

Matthew 14:26-33

I’ve come to believe that procrastination and fear are married emotions. A lot of fear is actually hidden.

You can hide fear in procrastination. It may look something like this: “I don’t really want to talk to this person, confront this person, so I’ll put it off. If I don’t talk to then about it maybe they’ll forget or the problem will just sort of disappear.”

So we put it off to deal with later...maybe.

If you’re like me, procrastination leads to fear.

You procrastinate for a long time and then all of a sudden when something is due you kind of get fearful that you’re going to get in trouble. Remember junior high or high school the day the science project was due? “Oh, no! It’s due today! I’ve had nine months to work on it and I did nothing.”

Some of you know what I’m talking about, right?

Procrastination and fear grips everybody to some degree or another. Everyone has fears. One author wrote this about fear: “All of us are born with this set of instinctive fears. The fear of falling. The fear of the dark. The fear of lobsters. The fear of falling on lobsters in the dark. And the fear of the words:

Some Assembly Required.”

We’re all afraid of something...

of failure, of loss, of rejection, of the future. We all have them. We’re afraid of public speaking (#1 fear of most people).

Or we’re afraid of what people will say about us.

We all have fears. You have fears. I have fears.

You know what? God is not surprised by our fears.

The #1 instruction from God to humanity is: “Fear not!”

If you scour the Bible, that is the number one message 366 times it says it in the Bible: “Fear not!” One for every day + leap year! Isn’t that great? I would have thought it would have been something like: “Love one another.” But instead, it’s “Fear not!” God was very thoughtful there, wasn’t He? He wants us to get it.

God wants His people to not live in fear.

I love the challenge God gives to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 (NLT):

“I command you be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

It’s easy for us to read or hear “Do not be afraid or discouraged” but it’s tough to live out, isn’t it?

That’s what I want to talk about today –

...the fears that keep us from living life to its fullest.

...the fears that keep us from being fully alive.

...the fears that keep us from being the person God created us to be.

If we don’t deal with some of these fears, what happens?

They turn into phobias.

Did you know there’s a website called “phobialist.com”?

Turns out this website lists about 600 phobias. I had heard of some – acrophobia (the fear of spiders), claustrophobia (the fear of enclosed or small places). Did you know there is actually a phobia, phobia? It’s a fear of phobias!

There’s actually a fear of sermons – Homilophobia!

On this website this is what it said, “Please don’t ask me about curing phobias because I know nothing about them. My interest is in the names only.”

My interest is very different this morning

My interest is in helping those of us here today grow spiritually through our fears and because of our fears.

I’ve identified a couple action steps I’ve found from a passage in the Bible that I want us to take a look at today...

Matthew 14:26-33 (Turn there please)

It’s really a fear passage. Jesus puts His disciples on a boat.

They had just fed thousands of people with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. Jesus wanted to withdraw and be by Himself. He puts them on the boat.

Let’s pick it up at v. 22... [Read Matthew 14:22-33]

► [Begin Power Point]

How do we grow spiritually as a result of our fears?

I want to talk about how you grow closer to God. How do you have a deeper relationship with the God of the universe?

I believe that one way to grow closer to God is to actually

“Grow Through our Fears.”

But, how do we do it? How DO we grow through our fears?

►1. ADMIT YOUR FEARS (v. 26) (REPEAT)

This is very basic. You have to admit your fears. I put an “s” there – it’s plural. Fears. Admitting fears is tough, isn’t it?

Any other men in here who would like to give an “amen” to that? A lot of us guys our natural response is not to say, “I’m afraid!” Our natural response is to lie. “Afraid? No, she is, but I’m not. I’m ok with that.” We want to conquer our fears, but when you admit it that’s where it all begins.

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