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Summary: Fear is a big part of life. To understand fear and overcome it, we must look to God's Word in the Scriptures.

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“Fear of the Future”

Your Greatest Fear Series – Message Five

Matthew 6 and other selected passages

Gages Lake Bible Church

Sunday PM, June 21st, 2009

Pastor Daniel Darling

Intro: Sing “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”

I don't know about tomorrow,

I just live from day to day.

I don't borrow from its sunshine

For its skies may turn to grey.

I don't worry o'er the future,

For I know what Jesus said.

And today I'll walk beside Him,

For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand.

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand.

I don't know about tomorrow;

It may bring me poverty.

But the one who feeds the sparrow,

Is the one who stands by me.

And the path that is my portion

May be through the flame or flood;

But His presence goes before me

And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand...

Intro 2:

Those words were penned by famous gospel singer and songwriter Ira Stanphill during a desperate time in his life. He had just reached the peak of his success as a traveling gospel musician, when his wife informed him of her decision to leave. She was weary of the ministry and wanted to pursue a career in secular entertainment.

Then a few months later she was killed in a car accident. Reaching for the right words, Stanphill spoke of God’s keeping of his tomorrows and the need to live day by day in dependence upon the Savior.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

If you could ask everyone what their greatest fears were and get people to be totally honest, I would say most of them boil down to a fear of the future.

Fear of the future, I believe has many different forms.

• You can fear the future of our country. Every day news floods in so fast you can hardly process it. And it’s mostly bad. Just yesterday I went to msnbc.com and here are some of the top headlines:

o Iraq truck bomb kills 63, hurts 170.

o Iran vows firmer hand on protesters.

o Train derailment, blast kill 1 near Chicago.

o Conservative Senator admits affair.

o Texas billionaire indicted in Ponzi scheme.

o Housing market may continue decline.

o More bank bailouts may be needed.

o Swine flu cases top 21,000

o Nestle recalls Cookie dough products.

o I could continue, but you get the picture. Fear is swamping our culture. Disease, death, and rage around us. The financial picture is bleak. Terrorism seems to continue unabated.

o As conservative people, we fear, “What kind of country will our kids grow up in? What is happening to our values?”

• You can fear the future of the church.

o Statistics show that more and more people are rejecting the claims of Christ.

o Teens are walking away from the faith at alarming rates.

o Hate speech legislation is on the rise, threatening the very words we preach in our churches and schools.

o Doctrine is not as important as it once was.

o Movements within Christianity are threatening the stability of the church.

• You could fear your own personal future.

o Corporations are continually downsizing. Maybe you feel the squeeze at your place of employment. Will you have a job?

 And if you lose your job, how will you pay your mortgage?

 Will you have to sell your home? Your car?

 Will you be able to provide for your family?

o Your kids show signs of rebellion.

 Will they grow up to serve God?

 Will they know how to make a living and provide for a family?

 Will they honor you in your old age or will they forget you?

o Your finances are tightening.

 Costs for everything from food to gas are rising. But your salary is decreasing. What will you do?

 Will your taxes go up?

o You experience poor health and it continues to get worse.

 Will you be able to afford your medicine?

 Will you face an indefinite future filled with pain?

 Will your loved ones take care of you or will they leave you?

• Then there are the what-ifs we all fear:

o What if something happens to my job?

o What if something happens to my children?

o What if something happens to my church?

o What if something happens here in this country—like war or disease or famine?

Two Kinds of Wrong People

When you think about fear of the future, it all boils down to one common word: worry. Worry is something we all struggle with. It’s kind of like dieting and food. We talk about wanting less of it, but don’t seem to know how to get rid of it.

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