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Faithlife

Lesson 05 - Handling Fear

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INTRODUCTION

 

1.      FEAR – a term we don’t use much

a.       But it is a BIG part of our lives

b.      Word FEAR comes from the Greek word phobias

                                                              i.      From which we get our word PHOBIA

2.      PHOBIA – used to describe the MANY fears we have

a.       There is HYDROPHOBIA – fear of WATER

b.      There is TECHNOPHOBIA – fear of SPEED

c.       There is CLAUSTROPHOBIA – fear of TIGHT - SMALL places

d.      There are over 1,000 DIFFERENT kinds of FEARS

e.       This is SOMETHING we all have in COMMON

3.      All of us have FEARS

a.       Even the most DEVOUT Christian

b.      Even the most DEDICATED Christian

                                                              i.      Has FEARS

c.       Paul – the epitome of what it is to follow Jesus - had to get a handle on HIS fears

1 Corinthians 2:3 (KJV) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4.      FEAR when used by Satan is a most effective tool 

a.       A TOOL he uses to stop us – if not SLOW us down –

                                                              i.      In doing God’s work

b.      FEAR is a BIG problem in the lives of Christians

c.       The Bible is here to help us get a handle on OUR fears

d.      Over 100 times in the Bible you will find the phrase:

                        

                              Be not afraid  or  Fear not

IS FEAR REALLY A PROBLEM?

 

1.      The Bible is full of examples of people succumbing to FEAR

a.       We looked at PETER last Sunday when he DENIED Jesus because of FEAR

b.      We looked at KING SAUL when he feared he was LOOSING his kingdom and went to a fortuneteller

c.       We looked at the DISCIPLES who feared for their LIVES when aboard a ship that was about to sink

2.      THEN there were the Israelites

a.       We have been reading a lot about them in our daily Bible readings

b.      SO MANY times we see GOD’S people fearing for their lives

c.       When they leave Egypt they were so EXCITED

                                                              i.      Then they ran into the Red Sea

1.      NOW they got a problem

a.       Water in front of them

                                                            ii.      But to make matters WORSE

1.      Pharaoh’s army was behind them

2.      Rapidly catching up on them

                                                          iii.      The Israelites FEARED for their lives

Exodus 14:10 (KJV) And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.

d.      The Israelites went BALLISTIC

3.       FEAR will cause you to go BALLISTIC too

a.       Fear will test your FAITH

b.      One thing about fear – it is NOT compatible to faith

c.       If your heart if FULL of fear -  faith is out the door

d.      FEAR will cause you to go BALLISTIC

4.      The ISRAELITES had NO reason to fear –

a.       They had just seen God’s hand at work

b.      They had seen up front and close the TEN PLAGUES on Egypt

c.       They had seen God in COMPLETE control

d.      They SAW God bring about their freedom

e.       And NOW they saw God’s PRESENCE

                                                              i.      In the form of a CLOUD by day

                                                            ii.      And a PILLAR of fire by night

Exodus 13:21-22 (KJV) And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

f.       God was ALWAYS with them

g.      They had NOTHING to fear

h.      They were never ALONE

Psalms 105:39 (KJV) He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.

i.        They had it made

j.        They had EVERYTHING

k.      Yet NOW they FEARED

                                                              i.      Water before them

                                                            ii.      Pharaoh’s army behind them

5.      FEAR makes us do crazy things

a.       Fear always makes us lash out at someone

                                                              i.      YOU caused this problem

                                                            ii.      YOU made this happen

                                                          iii.      IT IS YOUR FAULT

                                                          iv.      Fear makes you LASH out

b.      The Israelites showed their fear when they LASHED out at Moses

                                                              i.      “It is YOUR fault MOSES

                                                            ii.      “You brought us out here to DIE

Exodus 14:11 (KJV) And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

c.       FEAR – it shut down the Israelites’ FAITH

d.      FEAR – it will shut down YOUR faith

6.      FEAR will also cause us to be SHORT SIGHTED

a.       FEAR will cause us to LOOSE our focus

b.      The Israelites FORGOT what was going on

c.       The Israelites FORGOT the BIG picture

d.      The Israelites FORGOT God’s PLAN

e.       The Israelites FORGOT that God was taking them to the PROMISED LAND

                                                              i.      The Israelites FORGOT

7.      Rather they REMEMBER the OLD days

a.       Days when they were SLAVES

b.      Days when they were CRUELLY treated

c.       Days when they did all kinds of back breaking WORK in the field

Exodus 1:13-14 (KJV)  And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

8.      But NOW fear changed it all for the Israelites – GOD’S people

a.       Forgetting WHAT yesterday was like

b.      Forgetting WHERE God was leading them

c.       The Israelites were seeing only TODAY

d.      And WHAT did they see?

                                                              i.      Water before them

                                                            ii.      Pharaoh’s army behind them

e.       They LOST their focus

f.       They FEARED

Exodus 14:12 (KJV) Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

9.      Talk about being in the grips of FEAR

a.       But it wasn’t ALWAYS that way

                                                              i.      When Moses FIRST told them, back in Egypt, that God had sent him

                                                            ii.      The Israelites bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord (Ex 4:31)

b.      How quickly FEAR caused them to forget THAT

c.       How quickly FEAR caused them to loose their focus

d.      All they want to do was go back to the GOOD OLE’ DAYS

10.  FEAR will have the SAME affect on us

a.       Fear will cause us to RESIST change

b.      Fear will make us to live in the PAST

c.       Fear will distort our MEMORIES

                                                              i.      The majority of us remember getting IN DOOR plumbing

                                                            ii.      The majority of us remember getting RUNNING water in our homes

                                                          iii.      The majority of us remember getting our FIRST land line TELEPHONE

1.      Everyone of course had PARTY lines

a.       You shared the same phone line

2.      Learning how to COUNT the rings

a.       So many rings was you,

b.      So many rings was your neighbor

3.      Favorite past time was RUB BERING

a.       Listening in to your neighbor’s phone call

                                                          iv.      The majority of us remember getting CENTRAL heat and air

                                                            v.      We can’t IMAGINE living WITHOUT any of these today

d.      YET because of FEAR we want to revert to the GOOD OLE’ DAYS

e.       YET because of FEAR the ISRAELITES wanted to revert back to SLAVES in Egypt

11.  FEAR also causes us to loose sight OUR ‘promised land’

a.       FEAR will cause us to loose sight of GOD’S PROMISES

b.      Came across a good acronym for FEAR

                                                              i.      F – false

                                                            ii.      E – evidence

                                                          iii.      A – appearing

                                                          iv.      R – real

12.  Been said that we are BORN with two fears

a.       Fear of FALLING

b.      Fear of LOUD noises

13.  ALL the other fears have to be learned

a.       AND they can be UNLEARNED

b.      Remember the guy with one talent in the parable of the talents?

Matthew 25:25 (KJV) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

c.       FEAR can sure mess up our lives

HOW THEN DO WE HANDLE FEAR?

 

1.      Let’s go back to the shores of the Red Sea

a.       Moses had a whole bunch of FEARFUL people on his hands

b.      First thing he does is to REMIND the people

c.       REMIND them of what they had FORGOTTEN

Exodus 14:14 (KJV) The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

d.      NEXT the Lord told Moses WHAT to do

Exodus 14:15-16 (KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

e.       Say WHAT?

                                                              i.      Sure sounds FOOLISH

                                                            ii.      SOMETIMES God just doesn’t make sense

                                                          iii.      SOMETIMES you just got to TRUST God

                                                          iv.      SOMETIMES you just have to step out in FAITH

f.       Moses BELIEVED God

Exodus 14:21-22 (KJV)  And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

g.      AMAZING

                                                              i.      God said He would FIGHT for them

                                                            ii.      GOD DID

h.      We know the rest of the story

                                                              i.      Egyptians had a very BAD day

i.        The Israelites had to be REMINDED of God’s PROMISES

2.      Lord promises us too

Matthew 28:20 (KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

a.       God ALWAYS keeps HIS WORD

b.      God is ALWAYS with us

c.       So, when we are gripped with FEAR – remember:

3.      FIRST: You handle fear with God’s STRENGTH

a.       We need to remember the account of David and Goliath

                                                              i.      The Israelites were scared to death of that GIANT

b.      But not DAVID

                                                              i.      He trusted GOD

                                                            ii.      God had not failed him in the past

1.      God would not fail him now

                                                          iii.      God helped him fight off his enemies in the PAST

1.      God would help him fight off him enemies NOW

                                                          iv.      We know the rest of the story

1.      David stepped out in FAITH

a.       Not allowing his FEAR to stop him

                                                            v.      God responded by giving him VICTORY

c.       God will give us VICTORY too

                                                              i.      Therefore there is no need for us to FEAR

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

4.      SECOND: Handle fear with God’s LOVE

a.       God’s LOVE will give us victory over fear

1 John 4:18 (KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

b.      When we FEAR do we think God DOESN’T love us?

c.       If we would just stop and think about HOW MUCH God loves us

d.      THEN as we EXPERIENCE that love – we will SHARE that love

Romans 5:5 (KJV) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

e.       So the NEXT time we FEAR, remember

Romans 8:39 (KJV) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5.      THIRD:  Handle fear by remembering God’s PROMISES

a.       The Bible is a record of God’s Promises

                                                              i.      Promises made and kept to His children in the PAST

                                                            ii.      Promises made to His children of ALL ages

b.      Next time you are fearful, just OPEN God’s Word

Psalms 27:1 (KJV) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 

CONCLUSION

 

1.  FEAR – a powerful tool in the hands of Satan

a.       If allowed, fear will push out FAITH

b.      If allowed, fear will alter our FOCUS

2.  But it does not have to be that way

     a.  We can handle fear by appropriating God’s POWER

     b.  We can handle fear by appropriating God’s LOVE
     c.  We can handle fear by appropriating God’s PROMISES

3.  The choice is YOURS – to live in FEAR nor NOT

 

 

 

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