Summary: Overcoming the fears we experience and learning from them. This message will encourage the congregation to walk by faith and not fear

Overcoming Fear

John 20:19

Purpose Statement: To encourage the congregation not to live by fear, but by



What is it that you fear? Fear of the unknown perhaps? The

possibility of death, the insecurity of a job, the fear of being alone. Well,

that’s what I want to talk to you today about. I want to talk about

overcoming our fears. I want to share with you my own personal definition of

fear. Then, we will discuss whether or not all fear is bad or good. Finally,

we will talk about how to overcome the fears that keep us from being all that

God wants us to be. First, let’s look at a passage about when the disciples of

Christ were fearful Read John 20:19

Fear defined- the word in this passage is the Greek word Phobos- fear,

dread, terror, that which strikes terror. In John it is always uses in reference

to the Jewish leaders. The definition we will use to describe fear then is a

god given emotion and reaction for the purpose of alerting, preserving and

preparing a person for a upcoming situation or problem. It’s important to

note that fear is not given to paralyze, but to prepare.

By the very definition then, all fear is not bad. If I fear falling off my

motorcycle, I may cause me to put on a helmet. If I fear failing a test, it may

cause me to study harder. If I fear failing in my business, it could cause me to

work into the night to bring in a profit.

I once took a load of books with me on a trip to the Grand Cayman

islands. The trip was a graduation present from my parents for graduation of

college. I had a upcoming Biology test that if I didn’t pass then I wouldn’t be

graduating. So, my dad and I went sight seeing during the day and then at

night I would study biology and for some other exams. Dad was surprised

that I would bring books on a trip like that. But, I was afraid that if I didn’t

study hard then I wouldn’t be graduating. The fear of failing kept me diligent

until the hour I walked in to take the test, which I ended up getting a C on.

I once knew a teenager named Michael. Michael’s dad owned a

corvett dealership. Before Michael had graduated high school he had

wrecked 3 corvettes totaling them. Michael was a careless driver. I once

saw him coming up behind me on a two lane road near my parents house. I

was about 17 and had only had my license a year. We were coming up on a

hairpin corner. You couldn’t see if traffic was coming or not. Michael went

around me on that corner without slowing down. Laughing the whole time at

the fear he caused me. Michael lacked good sense or judgment. Michael

lacked a healthy fear of the road that would have caused him to be more


There is another fear mentioned in the Bible that is associated with

wisdom and that is a reverential fear of God. Proverbs 1:7 indicates that

the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It is healthy and good to

have a reverence for God. It may cause us to consider our own mortality and

our need to get right with our creator. Many people today seem to have lost

the sense of the reverence for God that people use to have. A lack of this

kind of fear allow people to take the Lord’s name in vain and to not worship

Him and to live without honoring Christ. A reverential fear for God causes

me to consider judgment and where I stand with God.

Every person should have a fear of God that causes them to think about it

before they commit that sin or speak that ill word. I wish more people

stopped to consider this eternal issue like they do taking care of the bills and

other temporal issues that won’t last. (Matt 10:26-31)

There is another kind of fear though that is not good and keeps me

from being all that God wants me to be. I believe there are many, but

probably the main three are centered around the fear of the unknown

including death, disease or judgment. Fear of uncertains, like a loss of a job,

a upcoming divorce or some other problem that causes insecurity. Or a fear

of being unloved or unwanted. Nobody really wants to feel unloved or

unwanted. The last one I would mention is a fear of change. Even good

change like graduating or being promoted can cause fear.

What to do to overcome fear:

1. Control what you can and leave the rest to God. Matt 6:25-34

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