Be Cheerful, Not Fearful by Claude Thomas

John 6:14-21

Introduction: During a great earthquake some years ago, the people of the village were frightened. One old lady was unusually calm and joyous. A villager asked "old woman, aren't you fearful?" "No," she responded, "I'm glad to know my God can shake the world!" While many were fearful, she was cheerful. She faced realities that could cause fear with confidence because she knew God. The disciples were brought to that point on the stormy seas.

Transition Statement: Like you and me, they encountered ...

I. Realities that prompt fear

Explanation: The disciples went from a prompter of joy to a prompter of fear.
In John 6:1-13, they participated in the miracle of feeding the five thousand with loaves and fishes. Jesus directed them to the other side (Mark 6:45). They experienced distress on the sea. For 8-9 hours they were in a furious storm. Then, there appeared a spirit walking on the water. It was too much for the worn-down men. They cried out with fear.

Transition Statement: What prompts fear in you?

Illustration: A night runner hears barking dogs, imagines them on the loose. He starts looking back, and runs faster with fear.

Application: 1) Fear of future - Fear causes the future to become a foe rather than a friend. It represents obstacles rather than opportunities. It brings occasion for skepticism instead of optimism. It becomes intimidating rather than stimulating.
2) Fear of finances - If one in a ...

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