Summary: Everywhere we turn we see people faced with fear, every road we take we meet the dreaded monster - fear. What is fear? What is the source of fear? And how can we be delivered fr0m fear?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”
There is probably no emotion that plagues and crushes the human personality and spirit more than that of fear. Everywhere we turn we see people faced with fear, every road we take we meet that dreaded monster - fear. What is fear? What is the source of fear? And how can we be delivered fr0m fear?
I. The Definition of Fear
A. Robert McLaughlin states that “In the Bible, fear is represented in two ways: as an emotional or mental attitude sin, and as a term for reverence towards God. First, fear is a mental attitude sin that is characterized by panic when one is intimidated by something, or finds oneself in a dangerous situation. Fear arouses the emotions in a bad way. It is a painful emotional distress produced by actual impending pain, danger, and disaster, or by illusions regarding the same.”
B. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
C. The word used for fear, deilia, is defined here as timidity or a lacking confidence or ability. Whenever it is used in the Bible it is used in the negative sense.
D. In this sense it addresses the base of all fear – the fear of not measuring up. Illustrating that are two great fears of man; the fear of failure and the fear of success. Both are based on lack confidence and feeling a sense of impending doom or downfall.
E. Fear is also defined as lacking mental or moral strength, lacking courage, timidity.
F. “Our fears may be real or imaginary. Whether the conditions causing the fear are real or imaginary the results are the same. Fear will torment and punish you, and the worst thing is, you do it to yourself. Fear is self-induced misery. Fear is worry, apprehension, horror, or consternation, all of which cause the person to become paralyzed toward their problems. They run away from the problem like frightened mice, close their doors and hide from society. Fears will paralyze you physically and mentally to the point that you lose the normal function of life as God has designed it. People are afraid of many things, and death is usually at the top of the list...” - copied
G. Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression
H. Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
I. 1 John 4:18 “...Fear has torment...”
II. The Fears of Men
A. Newspaper counselor, Ann Landers, reputedly received an average of 10,000 letters each month. When asked if there was a particular problem that seemed to predominate she said it was fear. Afraid of losing their health, wealth, loved ones, even of life itself.
B. Many specialists estimate that 90% of today's chronic patients have one common problem - fear. Fear of losing their jobs, old age, being exposed, of facing the future etc.
C. There are many unusual fears that men are plagued with. Here are a few:
1. Ophthalmophobia - fear of being stared at
2. Arachibutyrophobia - fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth;
3. Genuphobia - fear of knees;
4. Alektorophobia - fear of chickens;
5. Coulrophobia - fear of clowns;
6. Didaskaleinophobia - fear of going to school;
7. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - fear of long words;
8. Thanatophobia - fear of death;
9. Athazagoraphobia - fear of being forgotten or ignored;
10. Kakorrhaphiophobia - fear of failure;
11. Monophobia - fear of loneliness.
D. The base or core of most fears is the fear of death.
E. Hebrews 2:14-15 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
F. Someone has said that the fear of death is the root of all other fears.
III. The Source of Fear
A. The source of all of our fears is to be found with our earliest ancestors – Adam and Eve.