What are you afraid of? Has it paralyzed you? Do you feel hopeless? I tell you today that unless you learn this valuable principle, you will end up defeated, depressed and even dead. Fear has a way of taking hold of you in ways that will keep you up all night worrying. Fear can and will take your health, mental and physical.
Advertisers have found out that fear is a powerful motivator. Have you heard of the line of clothing called “NO FEAR”? I suppose the clothes, shoes and accessories that you can order with the “NO FEAR” brand on them, are supposed to give you an “air of confidence” so that you can hold your head up high and not “fear” the ridicule of the “in crowd” of the fashion world. I’m sure that even if you don’t own anything with this name brand on it, you have probably seen it on car window decals and the clothes that other people are wearing.
It would really be nice if such “gimmicks” could really remove the fear that grips the heart of this world, but I don’t think that it will really remove any fear at all.
Media Driven Fear
People are afraid of so much in our day and time. We can see prophecy fulfilling every day as we read the news and watch the TV.
Luke 21:25-27, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
I dare say that the signs are there already and yet there are many more to come before it’s all over. The world is ripe for the rise of the Antichrist even now and it is very possible that he is alive on planet earth right now and is becoming the man of sin that the Bible describes him to be. When the time is right, after the rapture of the church, he will step forward and be received as a hero by all of the people of the earth. He will seem to be a man of peace at first, but it won’t be long until his true nature comes forth and then his presence will strike fear into the heart of mankind so that they dare not defy him.
The Cold War
The kind of fear that he will have to control the world is similar to that found in the Communist countries of the world, especially during the Cold War.
During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin. Once, as he censured Stalin in a public meeting, Khrushchev was interrupted by a shout from a heckler in the audience. “You were one of Stalin’s colleagues. Why didn’t you stop him?” “Who said that?” roared Khrushchev. An agonizing silence followed as nobody in the room dared move a muscle. Then Khrushchev replied quietly, “Now you know why.”
The Wild, Wild West
There is a story from the late 1800’s in the Old West that typifies this same type of fear.
Black Bart was a professional thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. Amazingly, Bart did it all without firing a shot. Because a hood hid his face, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Instead, Black Bart used fear to paralyze his victims. His sinister presence was enough to overwhelm the toughest stagecoach guard.
Scared Little Johnny
Some of us can easily identify with the this story of “Little Johnny”:
5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother was preparing supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. “It’s dark in there and I’m scared.” She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, “It’s OK–Jesus will be in there with you.” Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and barely opened it very slowly. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once he had an idea. He said: “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?”
And then there’s the story of “Little Suzy”:
One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking Little Suzy into bed. Her mother was about to turn the light off when Suzy asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave her a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed after mom walked out and turned the light off. At last the silence was broken by small, shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”
The things that our children have learned to fear has changed somewhat in recent years:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears of grade school children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in a dark room, 3) High places, 4) Strangers, 5) Loud noises.
Today, kids are afraid of: 1) Divorce, 2) Nuclear war, 3) Cancer, 4) Pollution, 5) Being mugged.
The world is filled with people who are being treated for all kinds of fear. We have learned to give it another name now.
We call it a “Phobia”.
- Peladophobia: fear of baldness and bald people.
- Aerophobia: fear of drafts.
- Porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple.
- Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people.
- Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.
- Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.
- Auroraphobia: fear of the northern lights.
- Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings.
- Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.
- Stabisbasiphobia: fear of standing and walking.
- Odontophobia: fear of teeth.
- Graphophobia: fear of writing in public.
- Phobophobia: fear of being afraid.
There are literally hundreds of phobias that are bringing billions of dollars into the Psychiatric treatment facilities.
The World is Full of Fear
That’s the way the world is today – full of fear, filled with dread, and not knowing what to do about their fears. It seems that the whole of mankind is teeter tottering on the brink of disaster and panic. Every once in a while we see a small part of the panic take place whenever there is even a hint of trouble coming.
But the Child of God has no business thinking like that. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7,
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
I’m so glad that this promise is in the Bible. I’ve begun to fear that most of you were insane, but now I know you aren’t. If you are a true Born Again Child of the Most High God, and you’re living in close relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be impossible to live in the kind of fear that the world endures.
The Holy Ghost
Your fear is replaced by power of the Holy Ghost, the agape love of God and you have the mind of Christ. I don’t think that Jesus ever “feared” anything. He is our perfect example of living by faith and having an unshakeable confidence that everything is under control.
The Word of God gives us some “Fear Nots” that I want to point out. These are words of encouragement to those who may have been plagued by any kind of fear that Satan has tried to put on you.
Genesis 26:24, “And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.”
Isaac was having trouble with the world. People seemed to be against him, trying to take what was rightfully his, and to run him from his own lands. Every time Isaac would dig a well, someone would come along and cause him trouble, and he would have to move on to find another place to dig.
Out To Get You
Does that sound familiar in your life? Does it sometimes feel like everyone is out to get you and you can never find a place of rest where you can stop for a while?
God has not changed. The same promise that He gave to Isaac works for you today. God says, “I am with you. I will bless you. And I will see to it that the work of your hands is multiplied back to you.”
Why should we fear men when God is on our side?
Now let’s go to 1 Kings 17:13 and see what other fear we should not have.
“And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.”
This was a time of famine. Food was scarce and expensive. Water was in short supply. Everyone was suffering from the shortages. But God isn’t affected by earthly famine. He is still the God of plenty and He knows how to supply our every need.
Trust in God
We have to learn like Elijah and the widow to trust God and do His will first, and then we will see the provision come, as we need it. God didn’t stockpile the oil and the flour, but there was always just enough to fill their hunger. God will take care of you too.
2 Kings 6:16, “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
This is another fear that God removes from His people. It’s the fear of the vast numbers of people who seem to be against you. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and the situation seems so hopeless. We begin to really believe that “we can’t fight city hall” and then we bow to what we think is the inevitable.
But Elijah told his servant not to fear the armies of the enemy around them. Why, because the Holy Angels of God filled the hills around them and were far more powerful than any enemy that could attack them.
1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
The greatest fear that plagues mankind, and many Christians alike, is the fear of death. Death is a powerful enemy that none of us can master. Sooner or later, when God says our time is over, we will face death.
Fear of Death
Why does the world fear death? That fear is there because they don’t know what is beyond the grave. They are unwilling to accept God’s Word but they are willing to swallow any lie that is told to them about what lies beyond the grave.
Some believe in reincarnation and others believe in annihilation. Some believe is soul sleep. Others believe in purgatory, a kind of “penal colony” where you can pay off your debt of sin with prayer and money if you have enough. Others believe that they will become a god themselves and rule over the affairs of those left behind. There are all kinds of lies out there and you can always find someone who will believe them.
Most of the world won’t accept the truth of Heaven and Hell because they don’t want to submit their will to God in order to go to Heaven and that only leaves one alternative that they refuse to believe exists.
Can Christians Fear?
But Christians need not fear death any more than they fear falling asleep at night. In fact Jesus even refers to death as nothing more than sleeping. He said it at Lazarus’ tomb. You and I have the great and wonderful promise of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We don’t need to fear death because we are never going to die. Oh this old worn out, sickly, frail, suit of flesh that we are trapped in will lie down and go back to the dust, but the real you will never die.
You will trade this body for a glorified body. You will trade this life filled with troubles and trials, for a glorious life, where you will forever live in a place called “Perfect”.
I’ve seen the commercials on TV that describe the place called “Perfect”. I suppose they are about as close as man can imagine that a perfect place could be.
But we are going to a far better place than that place called “Perfect” on the TV commercials.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Why should we fear death when we have such a wonderful promise of Eternal life in the glories of Heaven?
Christians should not be overcome with fear. We should not live in worry, dread, doubt and fear. We should lift up our heads and look to our Heavenly Father in faith, knowing that He cares for us and will never let us fall.
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