Summary: Whenever you go through fearful situations, Jesus is the confidence to keep you going. This sermon examines some of the fear-conquering metaphors for Jesus.
October 7, 2001 Luke 2
¡§Jesus is the Answer to your fear¡¨
1. Jesus is the immovable ROCK. (Isaiah 26:1-4)
ƒá Hard ¡V some people want God¡¦s standards to bend. Allow sin. Allow other religions. ¡§I am the way¡K¡¨ There¡¦s a reason that the Ten Commandments were written on stone. They were not made to change.
ƒá Unbreakable ¡V Our soldiers going into battle have been trained to be unbreakable both physically and mentally. They¡¦re going to face great obstacles, and any of them who are captured are going to face men who want to break them.
Pilate tried to break Jesus. He had him beaten, mocked, interrogated, deprived of sleep ¡V but even when Jesus was half-dead, He wouldn¡¦t give in to the temptations placed before Him.
ƒá Unfeeling [NOT!] ¡V people have asked how God could allow the events of Sept. 11. But long before that, people asked how God could allow cancer or deformities or miscarriages or job loss. They seem to think that the presence of suffering in their lives is evidence that God does not care ¡V that He is so far removed from us that our situation does not affect Him. The Bible records of Jesus, who is God, that ¡§we do not have a High Priest who is not touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin.¡¨ ( ) When those thousands of people died as a result of the planes crashing into the twin towers and the pentagon, Jesus hurt. The Bible records that God¡¦s people are the apple of His eye. When evil men do harm to God¡¦s people, God pays attention. It affects Him. He feels all the pain that you feel right along with you. But because He is the ROCK, He does not fear. Because He is the Rock, He does not allow the pain to crush Him or move Him from His person, purpose or plan. He keeps right on going, and He can enable those who trust in Him to do the same.
2. Jesus is the covering SHELTER. (Isaiah 25:4-6)
You need a shelter when the events of the day or the struggles of your life are threatening to sap every ounce of strength that you have remaining. In a shelter, you find:
ƒá Rest (Ps. 91:1 ¡V ¡§shadow of the Almighty¡¨; children are afraid of shadows. When you see a shadow, think of it as the shadow of the Almighty ¡V God is nearby standing guard over you) ¡V one of the things that survivors from the twin towers talk about is the inability to sleep. They¡¦re so fearful of what might happen tomorrow and have so many visions of that day floating around in their heads that they just can¡¦t seem to get any sleep. Maybe you¡¦re like that. The situations that you are facing occupy your thoughts so much during the day that when it comes time to lay your head on the pillow at night, you can¡¦t shut your brain down long enough to get the thing you need most ¡V sleep. Turn with me to Psalm 4:8. [read it]
ƒá Companionship ¡V the shelter is a place where everyone gathers at the end of the day to swap stories. Some had a productive day. Others faced dangers that they barely escaped. Still others feel like they got nothing accomplished. This is the place where they can encourage one another and have their spirits lifted.
ƒá Nourishment ¡V the heat of the day, the quarrels with other shepherds for grazing rights and time at the well has drained you dry. The shelter is the place where you come to be replenished ¡V where you come to feast on the Master¡¦s bountiful supply. It is here that you find everything that you need in order to help you face tomorrow with more vigor than you faced today.
ƒá Satisfaction ¡V the day¡¦s work is done. Once the meal is over, you sit back to evaluate what has happened in the day. You try to gain some perspective. You may not have gotten done everything on your to-do list done. But you did what was important rather than just what was necessary. You can be satisfied with what you have accomplished. You realize that God is good, and that He has taken care of you for another day. You go to sleep while praising God. You are in His shelter. You have nothing to fear.
3. Jesus is the impenetrable FORTRESS. (Psalm 59)
You need a fortress when enemies from the outside are attacking you.
Dennis the Menace had his own personal fortress. It was his tree house. It was a ¡§Boys ONLY¡¨ kind of tree house. It was guarded with all the vigilance and vigor that little boys could muster. It was guarded not against the terrorist attacks of Muslim zealots but against a much more dangerous foe. It was guarded against girls ¡V and one in particular. Her name was Margaret. But even that fortress was not impenetrable. For once Margaret had something with which should could embarrass Dennis and make him look really bad to his army of boys, she was allowed access. She started putting up curtains on the windows and paint on the bare wood walls. She brought dolls into the tree house and turned it all ¡§girly¡¨. Things were never the same.