Summary: Conquering fear is not a matter of personal determination. It is dependence on the God who we can trust and love. In Christ you can conquer your fear TODAY! Conquering fear all begins by having a personal relationship with Christ
Intro: Everyone knows what it is like to be afraid. We all have things that we are afraid of – lightning, snakes, criminals, or the unknown. There are also hidden fears that affect us – fear of failure causes many people to never start, or try anything that is not completely safe. Fear of rejection makes us afraid to do anything. I could go on and on talking about fears or phobias.
There are two kinds of fear: Fear that is good - Keeps us from driving 200 kph. or other risky things that you can think of. Fear that is harmful - This is the "spirit of fear" mentioned here. This fear paralyzes us, keeps us from doing things we could or should do. Perhaps there is a fear that you need to overcome today. Our passage gives us the biblical secret on conquering fear.
I. SATAN’S PURPOSE FOR OUR FEAR
A. Satan is a master at using our fears. He can keep us from being an effective Christian or happy person by using our own fears. He uses the "spirit of fear" to:
1. Make our lives miserable. Worry and fear can make our lives miserable! Illustration: Hetty Green (d. 1916). Ironically was America’s greatest miser with an estate valued at $100 million (now worth about $2 billion) had a son whose injured foot had to be amputated because she spent years searching for FREE medical services!... We can be so afraid of losing our wealth, our job or source of income that we never learn to enjoy our life!
2. Make us ineffective. Many times we do not share our faith with someone because of fear. What will they think and say about me? What if I turn them off? What if I mess up? They probably won’t listen to me anyway! Fear can keep us from giving the gospel of Christ to men or from zealously serving our Lord.
B. Satan’s Method for using Fear:
1. He uses our past sins.
2. He uses the possibilities of the future.
3. He uses the potential of failure.
4. He uses the certainty of criticism.
Satan is master at using our fears to disable and rob us of joy!
II. GOD’S GIFTS FOR OVERCOMING OUR FEARS
Note: God has NOT given us the "spirit of fear" but He has given us three things that will help us overcome fear:
A. THE GIFT OF GOD’S POWER (Phil. 4:13) Whatever God wants you to do you can always do it through Christ!!!
1. Power to be saved (John 1:12);
2. Power to be a witness for Him (Acts 1:8);
3. Power to be joyful (Rom. 15:13);
4. Power to make you a strong believer (Rom. 16:25a);
5. Power to endure trials (II Cor. 12:9).
B. THE GIFT OF GOD’S LOVE (I John 4:18). To the casual listener it is not quite clear how love could be most effective in conquering fear, but the Bible gives us two essentials to do it:
1. Love for God (Mark 12:30). The more we love God, the less fear we will have. It is a matter of trust. When we realize that God will take care of us, it relieves our fear. My six kids do not have to worry about having something to eat, wear or spend. For all these years I have provided for their needs. They fully trust me. Now if I had not provided for them, they would be worried. But they know I love them and will provide for them, so they are not afraid about that. This is what Rom. 8:28 says. Love of God relieves our fears!
2. Love for Others (Mark 12:31 cf. Rom. 13:10). The more we love others the less fear we will have. Love causes us to overcome our own fears for the good of others ... See firemen, policemen, soldiers, rescue workers, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. Love causes us to tell others about Jesus and his perfect sacrifice on the cross to help others avoid hell fire!
C. THE GIFT OF A SOUND MIND (Rom. 12:2). Most of the time our harmful fears are the direct results of wrong mental attitudes. But something happens when we are saved and begin to trust God. Our mind is renewed!
1. In my way of thinking, I may be afraid I won’t make it financially - IF I trust in God and accept His way of thinking, I will be assured that He will take care of me! (Luke 12:23-24)
2. If I am afraid of dying. That fear is calmed by knowing (II Cor. 5:8). When we think biblically, we have a "sound mind" or the “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16b).
Conclusion: Conquering fear is not a matter of personal determination. It is dependence on the God who we can trust and love. In Christ you can conquer your fear TODAY! Conquering fear all begins by having a personal relationship with Christ…