Summary: Fear is the opposite of faith. Are you gripped by fear or do you have a confident faith in God? We are not to be controlled by fear. We are meant to live by faith not by fear. We are meant to have faith in God.
We continue in our series on Discovering your Destiny and today we are going to be thinking about how we can conquer our fears.
Dictionary.com defines fear in these ways:
A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Concern or anxiety.
Something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of.
Reverential awe, especially toward God.
Anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur.
To regard with fear; be afraid of.
To have reverential awe of.
To consider or anticipate (something unpleasant) with a feeling of dread or alarm.
There is a website called fearof.net that lists the 100 most common fears or phobia that people can suffer from.
The Top 10 are:
1. Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders.
2. Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes.
3. Acrophobia – The fear of heights.
4. Agoraphobia – The fear of open or crowded spaces.
5. Cynophobia – The fear of dogs. Everything from small Poodles to large Great Danes.
6. Astraphobia – The fear of thunder/lightning.
7. Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces like elevators, small rooms and other enclosed spaces.
8. Mysophobia – The fear of germs.
9. Aerophobia – The fear of flying.
10. Trypophobia – The fear of holes is an unusual but pretty common phobia.
Then there are a few more further down the chart that caught my eye.
17. Alektorophobia – The fear of chickens.
25. Gamophobia – The fear of commitment.
26. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – The fear of long words.
34. Globophobia – The fear of balloons
37. Phobophobia – The fear of fear.
60. Achondroplasiaphobia – The fear of midgets.
74. Pogonophobia – The fear of beards.
If you read or watch the news it seems that there are also many other things that much of the world seems to fear at the moment, Brexit, Trump, ISIS, house prices, the rising cost of food, so many things that can create fear.
Fear can hold us back in every area of our lives. Fear can hold us back in our Christian walk.
Fear is the opposite of faith. Are you gripped by fear or do you have a confident faith in God?
Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7-8 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.
Fear is something the enemy uses against us. But we can learn how to defend ourselves against fear. God has provided us with a gift to overcome fear - a spirit of power, love and self-disciple. By faith we have the ability to overcome fear. The words of Moses in Exodus 14:14 are still relevant to us today “The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” God fights our battles. When we are confident in the fact that God fights our battles, fear cannot grip us.
There are many verses in the Bible that teach us we should have faith in God rather than fear of circumstances and situations. Need some examples?
Jeremiah 1:8 “And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
What about, Psalm 34:17 “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”
These are great words of encouragement. They are truth we need to hold deep inside our hearts and minds. We have no reason to fear because we are children of God, we are disciples of Jesus, God is with us in every situation and circumstance. God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Don’t allow fear a foothold in your life. Even when the situation looks bad, even when there seems to be evidence we should be fearful, we are to trust God, 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us For we live by believing and not by seeing.
God’s destiny for you, His beloved child, is not for you to live in fear, God wants all of us to trust Him in all circumstances, God wants us to live by faith.
We need to walk by faith and not by sight. We can trust God, He knows what He is doing.
Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the Methodist missionary, said this about faith and fear:
“I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath–these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely–these are my native air. A doctor says, ‘We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non- worriers, but that is a fact.’ But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.”