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Summary: This sermon examines the fear that we encounter in life, and how we can overcome it, knowing that God is with us

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INTRODUCTION

* Fear: the natural feeling of alarm caused by the expectation of imminent danger, pain or disaster

* Fear is common and widespread: over 500 documented phobias (and some are pretty funny)

- cacophobia: the fear of ugliness

- dentophobia: the fear of dentists

- gynophobia: the fear of women

- mageirocophobia: the fear of cooking

- octophobia: the fear of the number 8

- scolionophobia: the fear of school

- phobophobia: the fear of phobias

* Fear has a more sinister nature: it is one of Satan’s tools that he will use to try to defeat us

- in and of itself, fear is amoral (neither good nor bad); how we respond to it is important

- some people get a handle on fear, while some get handled by fear

* If fear is not defeated, faith cannot flourish and trust in God cannot be established and strengthened

* The Bible speaks of overcoming fear often: over 300 times the phrase “fear not” or “do not fear” is found

- Matthew 10:31

- Romans 8:15

- 1 John 4:18

* The world today contains a lot of fearful things (natural catastrophes, economy, government, sicknesses, etc.)

* Undefeated fear can cause good and godly people to do ungodly things (i.e., Y2K); fear must be kept in check

* Background of our text: the prophecy concerning Judah caused fear; the people would lose everything

* Against this background of fear God gives his people hope and comfort; he gives them a reason NOT to fear, even in a fearful situation

* Their situation might be different from ours, but the existence of fear is constant: the reasons they have for not fearing are the same reasons we have

* Why should the people of God have no fear?

1. We should not fear because we belong to God (v. 1)

* God was their God - they belonged to him because of the covenant God made with Abraham

* We belong to God because of the covenant God made with us through Jesus Christ

* “You are mine” = belonging to God implies ownership; since we are God’s, no one else/nothing else can have us, hence there is no need for fear

* God went to great lengths in order for us to belong to him:

A. He made us: “created and formed”

- since he is the originator of life, he’s also the sustainer of life (Ps. 139:16)

B. He saved us: “redeemed”

- God called Israel to look back at their exodus (redeemed = to purchase out of the market)

- we look at the cross: the price paid to purchase us out of sin (Gal. 3:13)

C. He called us to himself: “called you by name”

- since he has chosen us no one else can have us

- 1 Peter 2:9

* Because we belong to God, we are off limits to the power of fear (Heb. 13:6)

2. We should not fear because God is with us (v. 2)

* A specific promise is made by God to be with his people (note v. 5a)

* God’s presence did not mean that they would not encounter fearful moments, but that the fearful moments would not destroy them

* God is not just with us, but within us - the presence of God implies the protection of God

* Romans 8:31, 37

* Isaiah 54:17

* Psalm 23

* God’s presence is guaranteed, 24/7. Therefore, we have a constant presence and protection against fear (Heb. 13:5).

3. We should not fear because God is passionate about us (v. 3-4)

* Impossible to adequately define/describe the passion God has for us

* Just as Israel was the object of God’s passion in the OT, so we are the objects of his passion today

* Note how passionate God is about us...

A. Like Israel, we are precious to God

- in Hebrew, “precious” is a verb (not an adjective): God actively regards us as precious

- precious = to esteem, to be prized, to be valuable, to be costly

B. Like Israel, we are honored by God

- God has made us honorable: able to live a life that honors him

C. Like Israel, we are loved by God

- the passion of God is most clearly seen in his love for us

- the kind of love God has for us: agape love (based on who God is)

* Lamentations 3:22-23

4. We should not fear because this world is not the end (v. 5-7)

* What God is saying to the people of Judah about the future...

* What God is saying to us about the future...

* Nothing in this world is worthy of causing us to fear (no matter how bad) because this world is not the end...it is not our home

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Junior Kizer

commented on Oct 20, 2017

Great work, guys!

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