A CURE FOR FEAR
The story starts with a boy of 12 whose name was Jim. Jim was a pleasant young lad, but one day his mother became very ill, the doctor came and saw her, and he explained to Jim and his father that in all probability Jim's mother will die. Sad right?
Well, the day came for Jim's mother to be taken from this life, and she died. Then it dawned on Jim that maybe one day he would die too. The thought really scared him!
You can imagine the sorrow in Jim's heart when he saw him mother placed in a coffin and put in the ground, her lifeless body never to see the light of day again! Where is she now? Jim wondered whether she was in a different world. Maybe she had gone to Heaven? Is there such a place? Or maybe when you die you just stop existing? Jim decided he was going to think that his mother was with Jesus in Heaven!
That's great! Jim's finally come to believe in God! Or has he?
Well, the first few nights after the burial, Jim started to have nightmares about his mother dying. He told his dad, but his dad just assured him that they will eventually go, which they did. But with the passing of the nightmares about his mother, came nightmares about his own death.
Jim had once heard a preacher mention something about a place called Hell, where there are lots of flames and bad people are tortured every day. Jim started to have nightmares about Hell now, and he wondered whether, should he die, whether he would go to Heaven or to Hell.
Jim tried to think of himself as a good person and that surely he would go to Heaven. But the nightmares kept on coming.
The nightmares had a terrible effect on Jim, he began to have lots of other little fears, he began to be afraid of spiders, and afraid of heights, and he developed claustrophobia. Jim gradually began to lose friends because they thought he was a freak, no-one wanted to know him!
Jim's in quite a state right?
So it's time to play doctor! So Jim's come to my little doctor's surgery and asked for my help. I'm going to diagnose him as having multiple fear disorders. Do you agree with my diagnosis?
If yes, then please help me now to find a cure!
If you went to any normal doctor, I'm sure they would send you to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist would prescribe you some kind of anti-depressants, and they'll probably do you no ounce of good, or even worse make the nightmares go away, so that Jim can live his life again just as he wanted, fulfilling all his selfish desires.
So here's my perfect cure for Jim's sickness, I give him a Bible, and I instruct him to read a few chapters a day.
Do you agree with my clinical judgement? Am I right to prescribe the Bible? I'm sure most of my hearers are Christian, and so you'll probably be pleased to hear of my answer to Jim's condition. But let's see what actually happened when Jim started to read his Bible!
So, Jim leaves the doctor's surgery thinking that the doctor is a complete idiot, and that any sensible doctor would have given some sort of tablet to remove the nightmares. But Jim was quite desperate, and he really wanted to be normal again and not be afraid of dying all the time.
Well, Jim opens up his Bible randomly and his eye fall on the passage in Hebrews 2 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage"
That's last bit really describes Jim doesn't it? That's what he thought too. And it was quite a relief to feel that he was not the only one like this. But he thought it quite weird that someone dies and that stops people being afraid of dying... shouldn't that make them more afraid?
Jim decided to read a bit more of the Bible, but instead of taking away his fears, it added one more fear. Jim read about a mighty God who had the power to either save you or send you to Hell, he read that everyone deserve to go to Hell. So Jim develops yet another fear, a fear of God.
That's terrible! So my so called "cure" has only made it worse for Jim, I've added yet another fear to his huge list of fears.
Have any of you read proverbs?
If so, you will know that the fear of God is a good thing, as you will see with Jim.
Jim starts to have nightmares about God being angry with him and punishing him. And Jim began to be afraid to do anything that was against what God wanted him to do, so he started reading his Bible a lot, and he soon learned that God can also be merciful, and that God is loving and pardon's sins. And soon Jim started to think of God as his Protector, and he lost all his former fears, except for his fear of God, which looks more like love than any kind of slavish fear.
So Jim finds the fear of God and now he's not afraid of anything.
Go ahead and try it, If you are afraid, just think about God's might, learn about Him in your Bible, and pray that God will give you this valuable fear of God!
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by James Botts on Sep 10, 2002
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Startled by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. ...read more
Contributed by James Botts on Sep 10, 2002
September 11th, 2001 just past 9:00am, Stanley Praimnath, Vice President for Fuji Bank, was in his office in the South Tower at WTC when his phone rang. “Are you watching the news?’ asked a woman the Chicago office. “Are you alright?” “I’m fine” he said wondering why she had called. Just then he ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Nov 30, 2004
Rick Warren writes in “The Purpose Driven Life,” “I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, “Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Jul 26, 2005
Donald Miller tells this story in Blue like Jazz: Don had gone to hear a folk singer who ended up telling the story of a friend of his who was a Navy SEAL The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His ...read more
Contributed by Don Hawks on Sep 10, 2002
Todd Beamer and the others on Flight 93 had a choice to make. Sit by and watch it happen, or take action. You all know what choice they made. After Todd had recited the 23rd Psalm and asked if the other guys were ready, they headed into action with the words, “Let’s roll!”¨ Jesus had the same ...read more
Contributed by J Jeffrey Smead on Oct 9, 2014
Be anxious for No Thing. Do not be anxious even over one thing. That's right not One thing.You can chose to worry. You can choose to be anxious or you can chose to take the alternative, And Give It To God.My yoke is easy .and my burden is light.