Summary: Learn how to deal with fear in this message on the factor of fear.
Have No Fear, God is Here!
How many of you guys have ever been afraid?
I have. I remember when I was younger I was afraid of the dark and I would have trouble sleeping unless someone was with me. Even though my brother and I had our own rooms, my parents would make him sleep in the same bed with me because I was so scared. When I was in third grade, the book Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark was really popular, so my teacher would read some of the stories to us. Well, one particular story scared me so bad that I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I would close my eyes and images of that story would creep in my mind and I’d pull the covers over my head so nobody would get me and I’d shake and tremble in fear. It was awful.
I remember going to my grandma’s house and watching TV and coming across the Discovery channel or something and there’d be snakes on the screen and my grandma would freak out. “Turn the channel, boys, I can’t stand those snakes.” She’d immediately close her eyes or get up and walk out of the room until the channel was changed. She was so scared of snakes that she couldn’t even see one on TV without it affecting her.
Well, what are you scared of?
Whether it’s the dark or carrots or going to the bathroom, by the end of the night you’ll learn some lessons about overcoming your fears.
II. Know That God is With You
The very first lesson for overcoming your fear is know that God is with you.
The phrase “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” is found 365 times in the Bible. I think that should make it very clear that it’s not God’s desire for us to be afraid. In fact, many of those times that he said, “Fear not,” he included “for I am with you.”
Isaiah 41:10 “10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Imagine a young 3rd grader who’s getting picked on by an older 5th grader. The 5th grader tells him that after school they’re going to gang him and beat him to a pulp. The 3rd grader says, “Ok.” And he’s not scared, because everyday his older brother, who is in 10th grade, picks him up from school. He’s not scared because he knows who’s going to be with him when he faces the bully. And it’s the same for us, if we know who’s with us, we can surely muster up the courage it takes to overcome our fears.
Philippians 1:28 (AMP) “And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and a seal) to them [your enemies] of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”
In other words, when trouble comes—and it will come—don’t be frightened, or intimidated by it. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many evils confront the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Trouble will come, but you can be confident the Lord will deliver you from it---all of it. Instead of being intimidated by trouble, be constant and fearless. This will be a sign to your enemy that God is with you.
III. Don’t Run, Face Your Fear
Fear is not some huge, ugly brut that’s going to rip your head off and use it as a basketball, NO. Fear is simply a feeling. However, this feeling does try to make us shake, tremble, or sweat.
The word FEAR in Bible Language (Greek) is the word phobos and initially had the meaning of FLIGHT which is caused by being scared. So, you’re first instinct when fear comes is to run. Think about that for a minute. What are you running from?
I remember when I was about 6 or 7 I used to live just down the street and around the corner from my grandma, so my brother and I would sometimes walk to her house. Well, about 4 houses down from ours, there was a huge chain link fence, and a house with a swimming pool. So, we would walk really close to this fence sometimes so we could get a good look at the pool, especially on a hot day, because we wanted to take a dip in that cold water so bad. Well, one day we were walking to grandma’s house, and we were walking along that fence, and all of a sudden we heard (bark, bark). And the first thing we did after we screamed was take off running. We were scared, so we ran. Well, that’s the exact opposite of what the Word says to do. In so many cases, the Lord, or the angel of the Lord, would tell folks, “Fear Not,” literally meaning that when fear comes, don’t let it stop you, don’t run away. Stand up and do it afraid.