Summary: Fear is a big part of life. To understand fear and overcome it, we must look to God's Word in the Scriptures.
“The Cure for Fear”
Your Greatest Fear Series – Message Two
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday Evening, April 5, 2009
Pastor Daniel Darling
Intro: If there is one emotion that accurately describes the way people feel today it is the simple word: Fear.
Fear is a natural human emotion. Fear is a sense that hope is lost, that something bad is about to happen. Fear is a feeling that perhaps you’re losing control of your situation.
And there are plenty of reasons to fear today.
You might have received a bad medical diagnosis and it doesn’t look good.
You might have lost your job and you’re looking at the market and wondering how you’re going to make it. How will you pay the mortgage? How will you meet your bills?
You might have just heard terrible news in your family. A relationship is on the rocks, a marriage in trouble, or a child rebelling against mom and dad.
Fear. It grips the human heart.
And of course, just because we’re followers of Christ, doesn’t mean we’re immune to fear. In fact, because we know Jesus Christ, and we believe in God, our questions are different.
We wonder. Why doesn’t God do something?
How often have you asked that question this year or this month or even this week?
If you’ve asked that question, you’re not alone. Your fear is nothing unusual or new for children of God. In fact, you join an illustrious group of saints in the Bible.
If you’re frustrated with difficult people in your life? So was Moses. He asked God this:
How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Numbers 14:27 (KJV)
If it seems like God has hidden his face from you? David asked this question:
How long wilt Thou forget me, O LORD? Forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me? Psalm 13:1 (KJV)
If you wonder why God doesn’t intervene and change your circumstances? Jeremiah asked this of God:
How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end. Jeremiah 12:4 (KJV)
If you’re looking around at the culture and wondering how God allows sin to go unchecked, you’ll hear Habakkuk, the prophet, who looked around and saw his country embrace idol worship and violence and wickedness prayed this prayer:
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save! Habakkuk 1:2 (KJV)
You wonder, why doesn’t God just do something already? And is God even in charge? What do you do when God is silent? What can you do when fear grips your heart?
An Earthquake in the Sea
Turn with me in your Bibles to the 8th Chapter of Matthew. As you’re turning, think for a moment of your most horrifying experience in life. That time when you were most frightful.
Maybe you’re living it right now. I’ve had a lot of fearful moments. When I was a kid, it usually involved getting in trouble and having that fearful dread of facing my father at home. I remember feeling my heart beat within my chest because I knew my Dad would not be thrilled.
I also remember vividly when I was working construction. I was high up on a lift and we were working on insulating a steel roof. And I was leaned over the lift on the low side of the roof angle. The guys operating the lift were at the high side. They decided to raise the lift, but didn’t realize I was bent over. At one point, they pinched me and I couldn’t breathe. Fortunately, one of the guys saw and immediately lowered the lift.
That was fear.
I remember another time when Angela and I were faced with some pretty steep medical bills and we weren’t sure how we were going to pay them. That was fear.
In this section of Scripture, Matthew, a tax collector-turned-disciple describes the most horrifying and fearful experience of his life.
The disciples were out on the sea. Jesus had been teaching the multitudes—using the ships on the shore as a kind of base or stage.
The account in Matthew’s Gospel tells us that there were several ships in this group. Honestly, these were more like boats than ships. They had little sails, but were primarily meant for fishing.
Jesus had dismissed the multitudes and asked the disciples to sail over to the other side. Let’s pick up Matthew’s narrative here:
23 And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. 25 And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marveled, saying, What manner of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!