You Can't Have It Both Ways by Steve Wagers

You Can't Have It Both Ways
Steve N. Wagers
Matthew 14:22-32
January 1, 2006

Sermon Outline
1. The Angry Condition of the Storm!
A) The Locality of the Storm!
B) The Intensity of the Storm!
2. The Anxious Crowd in the Ship!
A) A Cowardice Majority!
B) A Courageous Minority!
3. The Amazing Companion on the Sea!
A) What Jesus Said that Strengthened Peter!
B) What Jesus Did that Saved Peter!

President Theodore Roosevelt said, "It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who, at best, knows in the end triumph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatness. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Someone has said that "failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event." In other words, failure is not something that happens to us, it is the way we think about the outcome. As a result, many, for fear of failure, will do nothing; while those who have no fear of failure, will do something.

Before Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio that finally worked, he had 200 unsuccessful attempts. Someone asked him, "How did it feel to fail 200 times?" Salk said, "I have never failed anything in my life. I only discovered 200 ways how not to vaccinate for polio.

Someone once asked Winston Churchill what most prepared him to risk political suicide by speaking out against Hitler during the years of appeasement in the mid-1930's, then to lead Great Britain against Nazi-Germany. Churchill said it was the time he had to repeat a grade in elementary school. The person asked him, "You mean you failed a grade in school?' Churchill replied, "No, I was given a second opportunity to get it right."

Sir Edmund Hillary made several unsuccessful attempts at scaling Mt. Everest before he finally succeeded. After one attempt he stood at the base of the giant mountain, shook his fist at it and said, "I'll defeat you yet, because you're as big as you're going to get, and I'm still growing."

Again, failure is not the reality of an event, but rather the response to an event. Failure doesn't shape a person, but the response to failure is what shapes a person. That is why, as Adrian Rogers was famous for saying, "Failure need not be fatal, and it doesn't have to be final."

Many would look to the story before as a story of Peter's failure. After all, once he began to walk on water he did begin to sink. However, this story is one of the greatest stories of success found in the entire Bible. It marks not only a life that took a risk, but a life that was completely obedient to the will of God, and to the Word of God.

There are 2 categories of people in the story. There are those who, because of fear, did nothing; and, there is Peter who, because of fortitude, d ...


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