You might’ve failed at something. You might feel guilt and regret as a result. But the best part of our life might be after the failure. So long as we learn the lessons from that failure. In the message today, this is a lesson Jesus teaches Peter.
When we face difficult times, we might feel like we’re in the midst of darkness and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, we don’t see hope. Some of us might describe it as being in the midst of a storm, and we worry the waves will swamp our boat. A storm threatened to sink Peter and the disciples’ boat, but Jesus arrived on the scene and caused them to think differently. Peter even requested to take a risky step while the other disciples were boat potatoes.
We may fear death. We may be anxious about growing old. Someone once said, aging is not for sissies.We may worry about losing our memory when we can’t remember something that we’ve always known. So how do we deal with these fears? What will help us have peace?
Politics stir up emotions. Often we can’t talk about politics at home, at church or with friends because of the division it causes. During election cycles fear may be stirred up in us as candidates point out various things that we should be afraid of. So where do we find hope and peace?
Sometimes we fear other people. We are worried they might harm us in some way so we are ready to take action to stay safe. Our list of people we fear might include people of different ethnicity, religion or social standing. When we act toward others out of fear our actions are rarely commendable. Horrible acts throughout history have been committed when one person fears another or a whole society fears another society. How do we move from fear to love?
We often fear failure. What happens if it doesn’t work out? What are people going to think if I fail? Fear of failure caused Moses to give a list of excuses when God asked him to do something. Moses even gave God a suggestion. “O my Lord, please send someone else.” Fortunately God didn’t let him excuse his way out of fear. How might God help us deal with our fear of failure?
In today’s world there is so much to fear: terrorism, global warming, economic insecurity, mass shootings, conflict with Iran and fears regarding our family and health. President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” The Bible’s response to this is to say over and over, “Do not be afraid.” In this sermon series we will discover ways to build our faith so that our fear might be diminished.
Jesus tells us not to worry. Yet there is so much to worry about. We worry about finances, relationships, health, politics and so much more. There is a never ending source of worries. How do we deal with these worries that we might live in peace.
When the disciples of Jesus got caught in a fishing boat in a storm they were afraid. They thought they weren’t going to survive the trip. When you are in a storm of problems and setbacks how do you cope? What do you do? Jesus gave some good advice on how to survive.
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on December 24, 2017 9:30 am by Rev. Fay Quamstrom