Summary: This message is designed to help us when we focus on circumstances of life. A story from the life of Joni Earickson Tada is included.
MATTHEW 14:22-32 New King James
 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
The title for today’s message is: “LOOK UP”
I’m convinced that far too often…
We get to looking at the troubles and problems of life.
We focus on the things that are causing us pain and worry…
When we ought to be looking up instead!
In the Bible text, we meet Peter.
Peter needed to be reminded to "Look up!"
Joni Eareckson Tada learned that lesson.
I want to share that with you this morning.
"When I was little and went horseback riding with my sisters, I had a hard time keeping up. My problem was that I was riding a little pony only half the size of their horses. I had to gallop twice as fast just to keep up. I didn’t mind. I took it as a challenge until we came to the edge of a river. My sisters on their big horses thought it was fun and exciting to cross the river at the deepest part. They never seemed to notice that my little pony sank quite a bit deeper into the swirling waters. It was scary, but I wasn’t about to let them know."
We’ll get back to Joni’s story a little later.
PETER SET ASIDE FEAR AND STEPPED OUT IN FAITH:
Verses 28, 29:
 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."  So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
At this point in the story, Is Peter afraid?
O.K. Is it wrong to be afraid?
No! Some fear is proper.
#1 We ought to fear foolhardy, reckless, danger
just for the thrill of it.
Some people wouldn’t even consider getting out of a boat.
But they will take drugs.
I’m afraid to do that!
I’m afraid of what it might do to me!
#2 We ought to fear getting comfortable with sin.
1 Timothy 5:20 "Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning."
Let me ask you a question.
If _________ was involved in an affair…
And we rebuked him right here in church for doing that…
Don’t you think that would create some fear in your heart?
The prospect of being publicly shamed for sin should cause fear.
#3 We ought to fear losing our faith.
Listen to this passage in Romans 11:17-22
And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,  do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.  You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."  Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.  Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.