Summary: Anxieties stem from 3 basic fears - fear of death, fear of man, and fear of failure.
Faith & Fear Part 2 - Psalm 31
Anxiety disorders have surpassed depression and alcoholism as the #1 mental health problem in America.1
Anxieties stem from 3 basic fears - fear of death, fear of man, and fear of failure.
Psychologists believe that anxieties arise from a state of disconnection. The primary disconnection is from God followed closely with being disconnected from the Body of Christ and other meaningful relationships.2
Jeremiah 6:14 – They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 3
John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 4
“A middle aged man feels called to switch careers, to do something bold for God – but fear holds him back.
A woman feels trapped in a marriage that is painful and abusive – but fear keeps her from acknowledging reality and seeking help.
A ling time Christian has a hard time loving God because she is afraid He will do bad things to her. When life goes too well for too long, she gets nervous. She is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
A young woman feels pressured by her parents to follow a course for her life that she does not want – but fear prevents her form speaking the truth.
An elderly man is afraid of dying. He has never told anyone this – he is afraid of what others might think of him if they should find out.
A successful businessman risks financial security and market share every day. He never thinks of himself as fearful – he is a high adventure, fearless paragon of courage. But he has not risked emotional intimacy or authentic self-disclosure since he was a child. He cannot risk losing control or displaying weakness – he is too afraid.”5
Parents keep a vigil in a Pakistan hotel wondering if they will ever see their missionary children again.
A young mother watches her children play and wonders if she will survive what biological warfare might cost her family. The fear she faces every day is overwhelming.
A nation trying not to be a victim of terror can’t decide what to listen to – the call to normalcy or the warning against the possibility of more attacks.
1. God Is Our Refuge – vs. 1-8
We find refuge in His righteousness
“deliver me in your righteousness.” (Vs. 1, NIV)
We find refuge in His Name
Proverbs 18:10 - The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.6
With God as our refuge, there is security
2. Fear Is Not Ignored - vs. 9-13
While the first part of this Psalm is comforting, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that life happens. And life is not always pretty. We can’t expect that life with God will provide us with constant happiness. We still must be honest about our fears.
3. God Is Still There - vs. 14-18 - “My future is in your hands.”
We can’t expect God to deliver us from every bad situation but we can expect Him to deliver us from the fear that threatens to consume us.
Isaiah 41:13 - For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 7
4. Sometimes The Only Thing Left To Do Is Worship - vs. 19-22
5. God Is Our Hope - vs. 23, 24
A little boy walked into his Dad’s den just as his Dad finished reading a book. The son asked, "What were you reading?’
The Father replied, "I was reading the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible."
The little boy curiously asked, "What’s it about?
His Dad replied, "It’s about God’s final battle against evil."
The little boy excitedly asked, "Who won?"
The Father stooped down to his boy’s eye level and said, "God did."
Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-5, 17, 20, 21
1 Neil T. Anderson & Rich Miller, Freedom From Fear, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers) 1999.
2 Neil T. Anderson & Rich Miller, Freedom From Fear, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers) 1999.
3The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.
4The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.
5 John Ortberg, If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 2001.
6The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.
7The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.