Summary: We move in this world according to what we can see. And sometimes what we can see give us cause to fear. But God doesn’t want that in our lives. He’s in control. Because he’s in control, we can live without fear.

Lose the weight of fear

Purpose: To challenge people to move away from fear and toward faith.

1. This month we’re trying to lose the weight. Hebrews 12:1 says, "let us take off every weight that slows us down."

2. This morning we’re going to talk about fear. Fear can weigh us down day in and day out. We carry it with us (pick up a heavy choir chair to illustrate) into work, into church, into our relationships, even in our solitude.

· Fear of disease

· Fear for a dying loved one

· Fear for a wayward child

· Financial fears

· Fear because of spiritual insecurities

· Fear of broken marriage

3. Do those things give us real reason for fear? Yes.

4. Jesus talks about worry in Matt. 6:25-34.

5. "Thanks a lot Jesus. Don’t worry, he says. What is your ’Don’t worry’ sermon going to do about my sick child? How’s your pep talk going to pay my bills? My marriage is in the toilet and you say, ’Don’t worry’? Thanks a lot!"

6. But Jesus wasn’t being flippant. He knew what he was talking about.

7. Israel’s fear of Pharoah’s army, Exodus 14: 5-8, 10-14, 23-28

· Did the Israelites have real reason for fear? Yes.

· Was God paying attention?

8. Elisha’s servant’s fear of the Armies of Aram, II Kings 6:8-17

· Did Elisha’s servant have real reason for fear? Yes.

· Was God paying attention?

9. Do we have real reason for fear? Yes.

· I don’t mean to slight your struggles this morning. Some in this room today are facing things that are terribly heavy, and when I talk about losing the weight of fear, it might sound a little simple.

· But where will we live? In the world of fear, looking only at the enemy? Or in the world of faith, looking only at God?

· Will we wallow in worry? Or will we trust in the Jesus who said, "Don’t be afraid."

10. Grandma and Grandpa Cook’s cellar. Tons of old, rusty tools. Washer and Dryer. Freezer. Shelves and shelves of canned fruits and vegetables from their garden. To a little kid it was scary. But when they sent me down to get some green beans for dinner, I wasn’t afraid. Grandpa would take my hand and go with me. It was still just as dark, but he was with me.

11. Life can be very scary. Fear and worry are great weights that we take with us day in and day out.

· It’s no different for Christians. Our situations don’t just disappear because we know Jesus.

· But at life’s darkest … at the most fearful times … we can simply slip our hand back into the hand of Jesus.

· He’s looking down on you this morning and saying, "Don’t be afraid. Open your eyes to see what I can do."

12. Prayer of trust and relief from the burden of fear.

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