I was leading worship at a camp recently where I experienced the feeling of inadequacy and fear. Two feelings most people often try to avoid. As I was listening to the speaker one evening, he began to emphasize the topic of fear, telling the story of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-36). He spoke about fear in our lives, fear in the disciples, and most importantly, the fear Peter experienced when he started to sink. In the story, Jesus calls out to Peter. Peter then literally walks ON water towards Jesus, but starts to sink when he’s frightened by the storm around him! At first, Peter was so focused on Jesus; he wasn’t worried about the simple fact that it’s uncommon for people (that aren’t God) to walk on water!
In this moment, his faith was solely focused on Jesus, until the storm caught his focus. Quite similarly to our lives, when the storm becomes big and scary, we tend to get afraid. When we let our fears take our eyes off of the one thing that matters most, which is Christ, we sink.
A Big Influence
Does fear really cause us to take our eyes off of Christ? I would argue, absolutely. I think we truly underestimate how much of our life is influenced by fear. We study hard in school in fear of failure. We “people please” in fear of rejection. We fear inadequacy, so we live for affirmation. The list goes on and on. When we take our eyes off of our Savior we start to doubt; we let life’s storms blind us from the truth. We ultimately lose sight of who we were made to be and focus on who the world says we should be.
It’s a Choice, But We Can’t Lose
Faith that is 100% focused on Jesus Christ is void of fear. That’s a big claim, I know, but isn’t He the Prince of Peace for a reason? What if, instead of focusing on our fear, we focus on how Jesus has delivered us from it? What if we had the mentality of stepping out of our boat, into the storm, with only one goal in mind – to just be with Jesus. I ask “what if” because we aren’t perfect and our faith sure isn’t either. To say that we are all 100% focused on Jesus 100% of the time would be completely false; but I assume that is the life that we all, as Christians, would long to live.
We are beautifully gifted with the opportunity to fight for our faith. To choose Jesus over fear. To focus on the truth that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). It’s only through Jesus that our faith is secure and sustained. So, in the end, when Peter lost focus and cried for help, Jesus was there to catch him. Matthew 14:31 says, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” Our fear leads us to doubt, it’s simple, but thank goodness we serve a Savior that immediately catches us when we do.