Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Bible has some definite guidelines to help us overcome fear.

A Three-fold Antidote for Fear

Having the potential to be as crippling as any disease, fear strikes the minds of many people daily. Sweaty palms, nervous stomachs, and tension headaches all attest to the prevalence of fear. People are just plain scared; there fears range from fear of high places to a fear of being lonely and rejected. Most people, if they would probe their their psyches deeply enough, could confess being afraid of something. Some people are even afraid of not being afraid.

The Psalmist David gives us a three-part antidote to fear in Psalm 34:4: "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

First, people should seek the Lord whenever they are afraid. God does not abandon people when they are afraid; He never leaves their side. However, preoccupation with fear can lead people to forget all about the omniscience, omnipotentence, and omnipresence of God. Therefore, people in fear have to seek the Lord – i.e., remember who is really in control of life. Prayer is one way of seeking God. Reading His Word is another, and being alone with Him and just listening to Him is yet another way of seeking the Lord. It is amazing how God’s own children can forget their Heavenly Father whenever fear takes hold.

Secondly, people must realize that God hears them when they pray. The Bible in an overall faction lets us know that God hears our prayers and will answer each one of them. God hears His children’s prayers as soon as their prayers are vocalized or thought, but He does not always answer their prayers instantaneously. However, God is never late when it comes to answer immediate needs -- and that lead to be rid of fear can be met by God.

Thirdly, people must give credit where credit is due: it is God to "... delivered me from all my fears." What terrified someone yesterday is not the terrifying thing of today. What scared people last month has come and gone. The one responsible for these fears being eliminated is God. God uses time to leave his desire in us to be like His son, Jesus. Being fully human and fully God, Jesus knows what it feels like to be afraid; He knows how it feels to be so tense that perspiration drips from one’s forehead. He is aware of how bitter life can be; He appreciates how one feels when all friends have gone and the only one left to turn to is God. The Cross and the empty tomb remind us that God has power over the ultimate concern of life and death. No one need fear because He is near.

Seeking the Lord, being aware that He hears the prayers of His children, and giving credit to God for helping us in the past can help us when we face fear in the present -- or even in the future.

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