When the disciples found themselves fighting a storm so much bigger than them, on a sea enraged by the screaming wind, they were afraid. They ran to Jesus, who was sleeping peacefully at the bottom of the boat, and woke Him crying out for help.
When Peter first put his feet over the edge of the boat and felt the surface of the water hold him, he must have felt a sense of wonder. But when he took his eyes off Jesus he let the overwhelming sense of reality make him afraid and he started to sink.
Each day, the world over, people suffer; they become unable to function, unable to deal with life. They let opportunities pass, they deny themselves joy, honor, and greatness, all because they are afraid. Millions of people find themselves trapped in addictions, unable to let go because they are afraid.
Hamlet spoke through the pen of Shakespeare, eloquently describing the essence that keeps us bound to the earth, bound to the comfortable things we know, when he said, "To die, to sleep. To Sleep? Perchance to dream! Aye, there’s the rub." Later he comes to the essence of the problem, "The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?"
Fear is that emotion which tells us that what we want to do may be worse than what we are doing now. It tells us the prize isn’t worth the risk. It tells us the task is to hard. Fear says, "If you keep do that, it’s going to hurt, it’s going to hurt more than you want it to."
The thing about fear is that it isn’t an intrinsically bad emotion. Fear is a powerful motivator. The problem is that fear is rarely used correctly. You see, we fear all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.