Summary: We use the word AWESOME to describe ice cream cones while at the same time we sing it over and over again in praise choruses with the attitude of cheer leaders in a pep rally.
Pastor Allan Kircher
Peace in a fearful time.
9 - One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:"Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 - For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."
Martin Luther made this interesting observation in his Table Talk.
God and the devil take opposite tactics in regard to fear.
The Lord first allows us to become afraid, that he might relieve our fears and comfort us.
The devil, on the other hand,
First makes us feel secure in our pride and sins,
That we might later be overwhelmed with fear and despair.
We live in a world/people allow themselves/limited by their fears of hurt, disappointment or criticism.
PP Even long after Sept 11th, many people restrict their movements because they’re afraid of sudden disasters that will affect their physical safety, their emotional well being or their financial security.
David praised God and then experienced release from His fears.
Don’t wait until you feel afraid to practice preventative medicine by praising God in all situations
Praising God will keep you from slipping into valleys of fear, discouragement or a paralyzed state of inhibition.
The fact is fear is a part of the daily existence for ALL people.
Each of us knows what it's like to experience fear that threatens to overwhelm us because fear is a UNIVERSAL thing.
• It doesn't matter where you live/world-you will experience fearful times.
One dictionary defines fear as, "a sudden attack, anxiety, or agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, or pain."
o It goes on to say that fear covers a wide range of emotions:
o Timidity, apprehension, terror, and dread.
The truth is we don't really need a dictionary to tell us what fear is because
As I said, personal experience has taught us all too well.
PP Let's do a quick survey to highlight this fact. Raise your hands if any of the following applies to you.
1. Has anyone here this morning ever had fears related to money?
2. Has anyone ever been afraid you/turned down for a job?
3. Ever had health-related fears about yourself or a loved one?
4. Since 9-11 have any of you feared a terrorist attack while flying?
6. Have any of you ever had fears about relationship-worries about the person you were dating-worries about your marriage?
7. Have you ever had fears about your children? Worried about the friends they were hanging around?
8. Have you ever been afraid of the day your kids would grow up and leave home....or afraid they would grow up and NEVER leave home?
10. One more-how many of you didn't raise your hands this morning because you have experienced fear but were AFRAID to admit it?
o Well, as you can see, there's no shortage of things that can grip our hearts with fear.
o Fear is indeed a universal thing. All of us struggle with it.
PP "All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears-of falling, of the dark, of snakes, of speaking in public, and of the words, 'some assembly required.'"
We all wrestle with fear.
We all know by personal experience how horrible fear can be.
We all know that fear can be so overwhelming that it steals sleep at night
Joy in the daytime-so intense that it immobilizes us.
Well, fear CAN immobilize us like this can't it!
If we don't learn how to handle it fear will indeed STEAL the PEACE God intends for us to have.
Okay-that's the PROBLEM we all face.
Well, where do we turn when it comes to a solution?
How can we learn to have peace even amidst the inevitable fearful times of life?
I would suggest a good thing to do to help us find a solution to this problem would be to the book of Acts
The central figure/last few chapters is/the Apostle Paul
Paul was someone who endured countless anxiety-causing experiences first hand.
I mean, it would be an understatement to say that Paul was well-acquainted with fearful times.
Listen to his own description of his life/2 Corinthians11:23-28.
So Paul knew fear didn't he?!
Here in Acts 18-22 we see Paul enduring a particularly fearful time.
Let’s take a look at these times:
PP Chapter 17 Athens
• Didn’t have exciting results “called him a babbler”
• Preached to the Areopagus “about Unknown God”
• Climaxed/famous sermon on Mars Hill.
In spite of the power of his message, most of his hearers wanted to hear nothing more from Paul.
And we never read or hear of a church being started in Athens due to his labors.