"The cure for fear is faith."
Norman Vincent Peale
Faith is often the child of fear.
Fear propelled Peter out of the boat. He'd ridden these waves before. He knew what these storms could do. He'd heard the stories. He'd seen the wreckage. He knew the widows. He knew the storm could kill. And he wanted out...
Look into his eyes tonight and see fear--a suffocating, heart racing fear of a man who has no way out.
But out of his fear would be born an act of faith, for faith is often the child of fear.
If Peter had seen Jesus walking on the water during a calm, peaceful day, do you think he would have walked out to him?
Nor do I.
Had the lake been carpet smooth and the journey pleasant, do you think that Peter would have begged Jesus to take him on a stroll across the top of the water? Doubtful.
But give a man a choice between sure death and a crazy chance, and he'll take a chance...every time.
Great acts of faith are seldom born out of calm calculation.
It wasn't logic that caused Moses to raise his staff on the bank of the Red Sea.
It wasn't medical research that convinced Naaman to dip seven times in the river.
It wasn't common sense that caused Paul to abandon the Law and embrace grace.
And it wasn't a confident committee that prayed in a small room in Jerusalem for Peter's release from prison. It was a fearful, desperate, band of backed-into-a-corner believers. It was a church with no options. A congregation of have-nots pleading for help.
And never were they stronger.
At the beginning of every act of faith, there is often a seed of fear.
* Describe a time when something very unexpected terrified you?
* In what ways do you think our desperation fuels our faith?
* Describe the ways that fear can both prompt our faith and destroy our faith?
* What kinds of things do you fear in life?
* What convinces you, as Peter was convinced, that getting to God is better than sitting in your fear?
* As you compare your fears to Peter's fear for safety, what would be your equivalent of walking on water (that risk you would take to get to where God is)?
* What do you think Peter brought out of the storm experience that the other disciples (who stayed in the boat) didn't?
* What does prayer have to do with our ability to bring God into the midst of our fears?
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers