by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: II Kings 6:8-23

 

I.         The prevalence of fear

            A.        Watch a horror movie

                        1.         The scenes start out idyllic. But in the background there are hints that something isn’t quite right.

                        2.         The music builds with intensity. You know something is about to happen, but not what or when

                        3.         Your heart races as you watch intently at the screen

            B.        Donny Lott described a scene from his life: “I met a woman serving me at the paint counter in Lowe's. I had difficulty understanding her. She was wearing a mask. I told her that I didn't think the mask would help her. She said that it made her feel better. I asked her from behind the sneeze guard, “Will you take the vaccine for the COVID virus when it comes out?” “No.” she replied. She was afraid of the vaccine. So there you are. Afraid of disease. Afraid of the cure. Afraid of me. Afraid.”

            C.        If you stop to think about it, it is that lack of information that creates fear in all of us.

                        1.         Panic buying because we don’t know how long we might have to do without

                        2.         The fears of a new virus because we don’t know what it will do

II.        Reasons for fear and how to overcome

            A.        Financial fears

                        1.         Wealth and prosperity are flighty things - Proverbs 23:4-5

                        2.         Fix our hopes on God, not wealth - I Timothy 6:17

                        3.         We have no need to fear, for God watches over his people - Luke 12:22-32

            B.        Future

                        1.         We do not know what the future may hold - Proverbs 27:1

                                    a.         People don’t like the unknown. They don’t like the idea that they lack control.

                        2.         Some things are certain – I will be older tomorrow if I live that long

                        3.         Others are less certain

                                    a.         Unfortunately, Satan plays on the fears of the unknown

                                    b.         Much of the concern over the year 2000 deals with the unknown.

                        4.         Saul went to a witch because God would not answer him and he wanted to know what would happen - I Samuel 28:4-7

                        5.         God comforted Isaac about the future - Genesis 26:24

            C.        Failure

                        1.         The man given one talent feared failing his master - Matthew 25:24-25

                        2.         Fear of failing is the great immobilizer. We would rather stay where we are than to risk failure and the unknown.

                                    a.         An army of the fearful is no army - Judges 7:2-3

                                    b.         Fear is contagious - Deuteronomy 20:8

                        3.         Because of fear many will not become a child of God.

                        4.         Because of fear many will not grow and apply themselves to new service.

                        5.         Because of fear, many will lose their souls - Revelation 21:8

            D.        Criticism

                        1.         We want others to think well of us, so we fear doing things that others may not like. - Proverbs 29:25

                        2.         So many go into sin because those around them are joining in - Proverbs 1:10-16

                        3.         Peter denied knowing Jesus because of those around him - Matthew 26:69-75

                        4.         John 19:38 - Joseph was a secret disciple. He was too scared of the opinions of others to confess Christ.

                                    a.         Romans 10:9-10 - Salvation, though, comes by making a public stand.

                                    b.         John 12:42 - Yet some value their position with man more than their position with God. They fear what might change.

                        5.         Matthew 10:24-31 - Jesus was maligned and we will be too, but we should not fear man, because God is watching over us

            E.        Pain and discomfort

                        1.         We would rather avoid a confrontation

                                    a.         Jeremiah was afraid because he didn’t know what to say - Jeremiah 1:6-8

                                    b.         The Israelites would attack Jeremiah, but he was not to show fear - Jeremiah 1:16-19

                        2.         We must be faithful, even unto death - Revelation 2:10

                        3.         With God on our side, man can only do limited things to us - Psalms 118:6

            F.        Death

                        1.         Though we understand that all must die, at least in theory, we do not like to apply the concept to ourselves. - Hebrews 9:27

                                    a.         We do not have authority over death - Ecclesiastes 8:8

                        2.         Death is scary because it involves the unknown.

                                    a.         It moves us out of our familiar surroundings.

                                    b.         We cannot reverse it and try again later if it is not to our liking.

                        3.         Others fear death because they know they are not prepared.

                                    a.         Yet fear immobilizes and they do not prepare - Hebrews 2:14-15

III.       Trust in God - Psalms 61:1-4

            A.        God has not given us the spirit of fear - II Timothy 1:7

            B.        Like Joshua, be strong and courageous - Joshua 1:9

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