Summary: Fear disrupts our ability to live in faith
Fighting with Fear
Series: Winning the Battle with Anxiety
May 19, 2013
Top five things children are afraid of
1. The dark
Top five things adults are afraid of
1. Terrorist attacks
What are you afraid of?
Fear knocks at the door of our hearts every day. We make the choice to open the door and let it in.
Why is it so easy to be fearful? Why do we not have more courage?
Our human nature is to have fear. We see things from our limited perspective and encounter life through our limited strength, this is why we grow fearful.
Fear also seems to be a way of life for many. They have lived for so long dealing with fear that they believe it is the norm. God tells us again, and again: do not be afraid.
45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, Mark 6:45-51
The disciples had already experienced a fierce storm of the Sea of Galilee previously. We studied that storm a few weeks ago. Many think that these stories are the same event. These are two different storms on two different days. Different days cause different storms that we will need to face. Storms of life toss us around, tear us up and trouble our spirits. The first storm created a spirit of panic and distress. The second storm generated a sense of fear and despair. Maybe the disciples were thinking, not now and not again. Our attitude often seems to look at recurring problems, thinking here we go again. That is when fear starts to set in and messes with our minds.
Fear is an age old problem
Fear originated in the Garden of Eden following the Fall. Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no fear. There was no reason to be afraid. There was nothing to be afraid of. Can you imagine a life with no fear, no worries, no stress and no anxiety? Life in the Garden was free of all of those things. The moment of disobedience becomes their first taste of fear. In response to their fear, they hid from God. Fear is a byproduct of sin. Fear flows from the dominion of sin.
The promise of Christ is that He will make the world new again. Everything that was a result of the Fall will be reversed. Jesus will remove the nature of fear from creation, once and for all. Fear will cease to exist. Our human nature will be redeemed and the world will be set right. The nature of Eden will be restored and every reason to live in fear will be removed.
We try to hide from God. We try to avoid the consequences of sin. We try to hide the fact that we sinned. Sin means that we have done wrong and everyone has done something at some point in their lives. No one is free from the reality of sin and from the grim reality of fear.
Fear multiplies as we drift
The more that we drift in our relationship with God, the more likely we are to experience fear. The more we move away from God, the closer we move to our fears. We will never be able to overcome our fear without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. One reason that God desires to help us rise above the power of sin is to set us free from the bondage of fear. The more that we live in a state of spiritual drift, the more we have to fear.
Fear drains us of our faith
Fear and faith will never be compatible. When we live in state of fear, we cannot live in faith. Our faith gives us strength to on a daily basis but fear will sap that strength right out of our lives. Fear removes the spirit of courage from us and replaces it with alarm. The more often we give into fear, the more difficult it becomes to live with courage. Courage is not an absence of fear but an overcoming of fear.