Archives For Fear

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Matthew 14:28 (ESV)
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

Long before you and I were born, Peter stood on the edge of a fishing boat in the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm. He had a decision to make, one of the greatest decision of his life. Would he step out of the boat at the command of Jesus or stay in the boat and wait?

In 1444, Conrad Witz painted this scene found in Matthew 14. The question arises, what is so unique about Witz’s Fifteenth-century painting? It is reported, “he is credited with creating one of the only true “great paintings” of this scene.

But why?

It’s a very simple and remarkable answer! Peter was called the “rock” of the church. No painter would ever show the failure of such a great leader of the early church. Peter sank like a rock; therefore, the brush strokes of great painters remained undirected to capture this scene until Conrad dared to show warts and all.

Like all people who find themselves on an edge – a decision has to be made. Do you step out of the boat or wait? You see, no one wants to be painted a failure. It could go without saying- we certainly don’t want our failures showing up on a great painting for the entire world to see. But when you are answering the call of God and fail, is it failure? I would contend that the answer is no. Fear caused Peter to sink and yes, in a classic definition, we call it a failure.

But never forget!

When Jesus calls us to do something, He will not ultimately let us fail. Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jesus was on the other side of Peter’s fear and Jesus is on the other side of your fear also.

unbelief

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Now that’s my kind of prayer! It’s my kind of prayer, and I venture to bet it’s your kind of prayer from time to time also. It’s not a faithless prayer. It’s a prayer that is mixed with trust and yet a hint of despair.

Despair is often the unwanted guest of an ongoing crisis. Despair somehow slips into our temple and pokes around causing us to doubt things will ever change.  Such is the case of the man in Mark 9.

His son is a demon-possessed, and he brings his son to the disciples of Jesus for deliverance. His steps of faith toward the men of God have ended in complete failure.  The disciples are not able to help his son.

The voice of despair grows stronger in his heart. He thinks to himself, “What now?” Suddenly, Jesus takes center stage. Jesus asks a few questions, and the man asks Jesus to do something. “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” I love the response of Jesus, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believers.”

Then we see the broken beauty of the moment. A man of flesh and blood has faith and yet unbelief mixed in his heart, but Jesus answers his prayer anyway. With tears, the father cries out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” It’s a prayer that bottles the request to remove the despair and fill up what is lacking in his trust.

He has seen the failure of the disciples, and it has only increased his  sense of despair and now what faith he has left seems to be quickly draining away. However, whereas the disciple didn’t have enough faith to accomplish the request, Jesus has unlimited power.

Jesus helps his unbelief and the miracle happens. Sometimes the greatest faith move you can make is to give your unbelief to Him in faith! The cries of this man’s heart have resonated with many that fight the same battle across the sands of time. He prays for relief just as he is, a doubter that needs a touch from God. Never forget; you can do the same.

Resentment

“Resentment and fear are two issues that need to be dealt with before we can begin the process of preparing our inventory. Our resentment toward people, places, and things that have injured us keeps us preoccupied and limits our ability to live in the present moment.”(Friends in Recovery 62)

One of the things I have noticed over the many years of being a pastor is that many people are trapped in the endless cycle of resentment and fear. Often I see it manifest just when someone is getting really close to achieving what they have been attempting to accomplish for a long while. It is like they get right to the finish line and decide to turn to the left or to the right. Just before victory they take off running in the wrong direction while the crowd that was cheering them on stops cheering and looks on in disbelief. It is like they are afraid of success.

I am convinced that the thinking patterns they learned while young children kicks in and they revert back to what they know is safe, instead of pressing forward and crossing the finish line into the unknown, that may or may not be safe. They are simply allow resentment and fear to control them, and it’s not until they break this kind of thinking, that they will truly be free to become all that God wants them to be. It’s my belief they should take responsibility and move pass the comfortableness of wrong thinking and accept the fact they need to stop blaming others for their failures and move forward with God’s help.

I agree with the statement I found in the book that says, “Blaming others for our misfortune, denying responsibility for hurtful behavior, and resisting the truth are behavior patterns we must discard. These particular learned behaviors were developed early in life and have become character defects.” (Friends in Recovery 62)

Tips For Dealing With Resentment And Fear

1. Fear And Resentment Can Be Defeated With God’s love.

The bible tells us that perfect love cast out fear. Therefore, when you accept the love of God, and pass His love unconditional along to others,  you are turning the battle over to God and not carrying it yourself.

2.Letting Go Of Resentment And Fear Is a Decision.

You must stop allowing them to stealing your time. You will never move forward while chained to resentment and fear. Make a choice to walk in the promise that goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life. Picture goodness and mercy as two people behind you cheering you on!

3. Forgiveness Is Powerful

Forgiving yourself and forgiving others will crush resentment and fear. Both are hard to do but never impossible. The Holy Spirit living in you desires both to happen so surrender to His desire, and allow it to supernaturally take place.

What are you thoughts? Share with others by leaving a comment.