Many people feel they'll
get rid of fear as they grow older. but
because fear is one of the base emotions of
the human heart, we never seem to be
completely free of it.
The dictionary gives three
different shades of meaning to fear: (1)
Fear is a feeling of anxiety and agitation
caused by the presence or nearness of
danger. Practically speaking, its the
feeling you get in the pit of your stomach
when you're called in to see the boss after
doing something wrong! (2) Fear is a feeling
of uneasiness. For example, when your
teenager isn't in by curfew you're afraid
something has happened to him. (3) Fear is
also a feeling of a respectful awe or dread
----as when you encounter a snake.
Fear is an emotional
response which is consciously recognized,
stimulated usually by some real threat. Fear
is the tense feeling which grips you when
you are faced with the tough problems of
life. Have you ever felt your emotions were
like taut guitar strings? Fear stretches
your emotions and leaves you feeling all
In the New Testament, three
different words are translated fear: (1)
DEILIA which is always used in a negative
sense. It is used of those who denied the
faith under duress. It is the anxiety that
comes from pressures. (2) PHOBOS(from which
we get the English word "Phobia") is more
neutral. Sometimes it's good for a person to
have phobias. Fear in the presence of
danger is a good type of phobia. (3)
EULABEIA indicates reverence toward God. It
is always used in a good sense; as in
Hebrews 12:28: "Therefore since we receive a
kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show
gratitude, by which we may offer to God an
acceptable service with reverence and awe."
the negative aspect (DEILIA) of fear.
People are afraid of many
things ---the dark, high places, the
unknown, other people, failure, bad breath,
of not being accepted by God, the day of
judgment. Our minds can't be at rest when
fear is pumping adrenalin into our system
with the signal to "fight" or "flee".
I was working on the
greenhouse taking the side off and I pulled
and opened one side up above my head and
thousands of ants fell out and all over me.
On my head and face, in my mouth and all
over my body. Later I looked all over as I
was speaking to my wife and said no bites,
thank you, My Father. My wife said to me,
one of the reasons you don't get the bites
like the rest of us do is you do not become
afraid, you do not get your adrenalin
pumping like the rest of us so there is no
signal of fear. She was right I just took my
time brushing them off easy. Results, no
bites, but most of all the credit goes to
God for His protection He gives us.
In recent years, doctors
have found that some fears are caused by
physiological problems. When the human
system is out of balance, fears may result.
A person who suffers from constant fears
should first see his doctor for a thorough
But most fears can be
traced back to a spiritual problem because
the ultimate cause of fear is sin. The first
record of fear in the human race is in
Genesis 3. Adam and Eve were placed in God's
beautiful garden where He had fellowship
with them and came to see them every day. It
was a beautiful relationship. Then one day
as God came looking for Adam and Eve they
were nowhere to be found.
God called out to Adam,
"Where are you?" Adam replied from the
bushes where he and Eve were hiding, "----I
heard the sound of You in the garden and I
was afraid ----So I hid myself." (Gen.
Afraid? Why should Adam be
afraid of God, his creator and friend? He
had disobeyed God, and now fear gripped his
soul.- The immediate consequence
of sin is fear of God.
Paul tells us that God
established governments and we are to be
subject to them. As long as we are doing
what is right, we have no reason to be
afraid of the government. But the
rebellious citizen who has violated a
command of God should be afraid of the
authorities; they are God'-s ministers to
execute wrath upon the evil doer (Romans
13:4). "If you want to dance," says an old
saying "you will have to pay the fiddler."
Fear is one of the consequences of rebellion
against God and government.
Fear does not originate
with God, "For God has not given us the
spirit of timidity, (fear) but of power and
love and discipline" (II Tim. 1:7). Since
fear doesn't come from God it must come from
Satan, and it's one of his best tools to
make you ineffective for God.
Sin causes fear! (But that
doesn't mean every fear is a sin.) We don't
want to face God when we have sinned
against. We don't want to face our parents
when we have disobeyed them. We don't want
to face the boss when we have failed to
carry out our assigned responsibilities, why
are we afraid? Because we haven't done what
we know we should. We have disobeyed --and
the resulting consequence is fear.
Chronic fear wrecks havoc
in our lives:
involves punishment ---" (I John 4:18.) When
fear is present, we suffer penalties; fear
produces physical, emotional, and spiritual
In the physical realm, fear
can limit the normal life span. People live
under the constant threat of heart failure,
and one of its chief culprits is
hypertension. Research concerning this
silent killer reveals that tensions and
fears are contributing causes. Unresolved
fear will add to our tension and perhaps be
a factor in cutting short our three-score
and ten. It can also limit many enjoyable
activities. How many people do you know who
are afraid to fly in an airplane?
Fear will cause a person to
withdraw from daily activities, Some people
have phobias (fears) that cause them to hide
in their houses and not come out. Their life
activities are circumscribed by fears.
Fear also creates emotional
problems and impairs a person's ability to
reason logically. What happens when we
panic? We can't think straight; we're too
busy trying to swallow our hearts to think
Fear can produce a
persecution complex. I know some people who
think everyone is out to get them. Every
time they hear a siren they're sure the
police are coming for one of the family, or
an ambulance is carrying a family member to
the hospital. That kind of fear will put you
through an emotional wringer.
paralyzes faith. As long as fear is
allowed to persist our effectiveness for God
is limited. Faith will banish fear, or else
fear will banish faith. Some become so
afraid that not only can they not trust God
for something big, they can't even trust Him
for their daily bread. Fear causes many
Fear condemns you to a life
of immeasurable misery, and few things are
as unbecoming and pathetic as a miserable
child of God. (Even the misery of a
non-Christian cannot compare to that of the
child of God who is heir of the universe,
power, love and wisdom of God!)
We know we're not supposed
to be afraid, but our efforts to "kick the
habit" are fruitless. We cry out, "Why can't
I quit being afraid? I know I'm to fear not,
but I don't know how to obey god's co=.-and.
How can I stop?"
God's solution for dear
deals with unnecessary fears. We should have
a respect or dread of
walk off a ten story building is not
fearlessness; it's foolishness. We are
supposed to maintain a reverential awe (or
fear) of God. God's solution for fear deals
with the inner tension that comes to tear us
apart emotionally, physically, and
spiritually. Three things are essential in
coping with fear.
fear is not partof
God'sprogramfor us. We
are told emphatically to "fear not"
Likewise, we are commanded to be "bold" --
boldness is the opposite of fear.
Since fear is not part of
God's plan, we are to do something about
it. We can't escape it by taking a daily
dose of tranquilizers, nor by a weekly visit
to the psychotherapist. We can't defeat our
fears by taking a rest at the Sheraton where
"busy executives unwind." Deliverance from
fears begins with a correct mental
Second: Recognize we
do not face our problems
It makes no difference how
severe our-problems become, we
are not alone. God does not jump out of the
boat and leave us to "paddle our own canoe"
when the going gets rough. God is with us
even when our personal safety is threatened.
The survival instinct is a powerful drive
and most people will do anything to stay
alive. Even though we have the prospect of
leaving this life and being with Christ
which is far better, most of us are in no
hurry to do so.
You know how the old joke
goes when the pastor preaching on going to
heaven issued this unique invitation, "all
those who want to go to heaven, stand up."
Everyone in the church stood
up except a little man on the front row.
"Sir, Don't you want to go
to heaven?" asked the preacher.
"Yes," the man replied.
"Then why didn't you stand up with the rest
of the people?"
"Oh, I thought you were making up a load to
Most people want to go to
heaven or to be with God, but are in no
hurry to catch the flight.
Our Lord gave some
pertinent advice to His disciples when they
learned they would face problems and
persecutions. "----do not fear those who
kill the body ---" (Matt. 10:28). Why
shouldn't we be afraid of those who are able
to kill us? We are going to die anyway, so
why fear those who have the power to bring
We are not to fear those
who have the axe or gun to rob us of our
physical house. Rather Jesus instructs us to
fear the one who has the power to kill the
soul! The body is temporal, the spirit
eternal. The only justifiable fear is divine
fear, because God deals in eternal matters.
We need not fear men who can hurt the body
because God is the keeper of the spirit.
Many people are anxious and
concerned about their personal worth. Jesus
made it clear the real worth is measured by
God, not those around us. It is nice when
our peers confirm our value, but it is
nothing to get uptight about if they don’t.
Quit worrying about what
you're worth to those around .."you; their
evaluation isn't what counts. God is the one
who places the value on your personal worth.
Jesus continued His
comforting words to the disciples: "Are not
two sparrows sold for a cent? and yet not
one of them will fall to the ground apart
from your Father. But the very hairs
of your head are all numbered. Therefore do
not fear; You are of more value than many
sparrows." (Matt 10:29).
Even insignificant little
sparrows are of value to God; He takes note
when one of them falls. But we are of more
value than many sparrows. It doesn't matter
what value other men place on our lives. We
are worth something to God. He is with us
always to take care of His investment.
God is with us even though
we may only have a few of this world's
possessions. People have the tendency to be
fearful in the presence of those who have
great material fortunes. We fret and stew
about what we have or don't have, as though
it were important to God
Let your way of life be
free from the love of money, being content
with what you have; for He Himself has said,
"I will never desert you, nor will I ever
forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). We are not to be
afraid; regardless of what we have, be
content. This is a radical departure from
contemporary philosophy which says "get more
and more and more."
So that we can say
confidently, "The lord is my helper, I will
not be afraid. What shall man do to me?"
(Heb. 13:6) Once we recognize God is
involved in our lives, our point of
reference will change from temporary to the
eternal. God's omnipotent presence with us
when we face problems will remove the poison
darts of fear.
Finally: We need to
rest_ in the peace
Christgives. Peace means a "mind
at ease."- Jesus Christ promised
us His relaxed mental attitude toward life's
harried moments. It's hard to comprehend
Christ's example of peace in the face of
problems and danger. He knew better than
anyone the kind of agony and suffering He
would have to endure on the cross. But with
assurance from God and a relaxed mental
attitude, He endured the taunts and abuses
heaped upon Him because He knew He was
carrying out God's will. He faced agony with
His mind at ease and thus left a perfect
example of a life lived without Tear
The night before His death
on the cross, Jesus gathered the disciples
together in the upper room for farewell
instructions. In the midst of the
discourse, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with
you; My peace I give unto you; not as the
world gives, do I give to you." (John 14:27)
After the promise of peace,
He urged them to rest on His peace: "Let not
your hearts be troubled, nor let it be
fearful" (John 14:27). When we can relax in
His peace, rest in His peace, we will not be
rupped to emotional shreds by the shears of
daily tensions and problems. When we allow
fear to invade and sear our lives, we admit
we're not utilizing the relaxed mental
attitude Jesus promised us.
He doesn't guarantee to
immunize or keep us from danger and
problems; but He does guarantee peace in the
midst of danger. Most of us frantically
pursue protection from the problems rather
than seek God's peace through them. We
desperately cry out to God for deliverance
but seldom pray for a relaxed mental
attitude. Seeking deliverance rather than
peace may cause us to miss the lesson God
wants to teach us. The next time the bottom
falls out, instead of asking God to put the
bottom back in, ask Him to grant you the
ability to relax and enjoy His peace.
We all face pressures that
produce anxiety, uneasiness, and fear. We
can't stop the pressures but we can learn to
deal with them.
If we want to live above
the anxiety producing circumstances, we will
have to understand His will.
When fear seeks to paralyze
your life, let God bring you out of its
darkness into the light of His peace.
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