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Summary: How does the Christian really deal with Fear from the Biblical perspepective? Sadly too few believers understand the victory they could have if they would simply exercise their faith in God’s word.

The Emotion Quotient – Part Two

“The Fear Factor”

1 Peter 3:13-15 - ©Larry L. Thompson (2003)

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? [14] But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." [15] But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Introduction:

Black Bart was a professional thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. Amazingly, Black Bart did it all without firing a shot. Because a hood hid his face, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Instead, Black Bart would later say from prison that he didn’t need to fire a shot; all he had to do was to use fear to paralyze his victims. “Fear, the face of the unknown, was my weapon of choice, my weapon of intimidation.” His sinister presence and his threat of words was enough to overwhelm the toughest stagecoach guard.

We also live in a changing world marked by terrorism, wars, and the constant threat of nuclear, biological or chemical extinction. But praise God, whatever fearful situation we may face; there are biblical immutables that are forever the same: We must fight fear by anchoring our lives in this truth: Our MASTER never changes, our MESSAGE never changes, and our MISSION never changes. What is urgently needed today is an anointing of the Holy Spirit to relate our foundational unchanging gospel to the fearful changing world in which we live.

Fear is such a strange emotion, and as we consider this week’s EMOTION QUOTIENT we find that people have a huge range of fears they face everyday. I read this week of some fears that people have that have been given names. See if you can guess what these fears are before I tell you.

Peladophobia: fear of baldness or fear of bald people.

Aerophobia: fear of drafts.

Porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple.

Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people.

Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.

Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.

Auroraphobia: fear of the northern lights.

Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings.

Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.

Stabisbasiphobia: fear of standing and walking.

Odontophobia: fear of teeth.

Graphophobia: fear of writing in public.

Phobophobia: fear of being afraid.

The Apostle Peter has some reassuring words for us today from 1 Peter 3:13-1. In Christ there is “No need for Fear!” We learn from this text that…

• Our Suffering is Inevitable

• Our Situation is Intimidating

• Our Solution is Infallible

Fear is something EVERY ONE of us will experience. For instance, many people fear change, when new situations in family or relationship or surroundings change then you may be frightened. Experiencing fear is normal; however, to be paralyzed by fear is an indication that you question God’s ability to take care of you. So what do we know about this week’s EMOTION QUOTIENT, FEAR and HOW TO HAVE VICTORY IN LIFE?

I. THE SUFFERING IS INEVITABLE (v.13-14)

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? [14] But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”

Peter’s question must have hung in the air for a long moment when the Christians who first received this letter heard it. They were no strangers to fear and suffering and indeed had suffered for doing good. Peter is addressing strong believers, they were very zealous for the Lord, in fact in the original language of the Greek New Testament these were people who "burned with zeal" to desire earnestly to obey the Lord! What was it that they were so passionate about? Serving Christ regardless of how fearful the consequences!

Peter was not dismissing the fear and suffering that was all too real to them. In fact Peter was telling them that as a result of their righteous lives and God’s care, their blessedness would be such as to turn the fear and suffering from themselves to those who were persecuting them and that their suffering would actually result in their joy.

Someone asked C.S. Lewis, “Why do the righteous suffer?” “Why not?” he replied. “They’re the only ones who should be able to take it.”

There is something about facing our fears that allows our faith, if it a genuine faith, to shine! What good is our faith if it’s never tested? The trying of our faith is more precious than gold the scripture instructs! Greatness often lies hidden beneath an easy or comfortable life, only to emerge when we are forced to face our fears in Christ.

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