JESUS ON FEAR & WORRY
By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently hunters in GUAM found Japanese soldier hiding since 1944. Survived on berries, very emaciated. Heard war over by leaflets, afraid of being executed so hid all this time.
FEAR does this to people in civilization!
doesn’t have to be founded on fact
ALL FACE FEAR
ADAM & EVE “I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself” Gen 3:10
PHOBIAS today – 700+
Arachibutyrophia – PB stuck to topmouth
Triskaidekaphobia: fear of number 13
Phobiaphobia – fear of fear
BORN LOSER cartoon If anything happens today, it’ll be 2 weeks before I can worry about it!
“What are you afraid of”… Teenage Poll
Nuclear War – 57%
My Parents Dying – 54%
Failing in School – 44%
Dying – 43%
Having a Car Accident – 34%
Loneliness – 33%
Not Having a Boyfriend/Girlfriend – 30%
Being Beaten/Injured – 29%
Disease – 28%
Rejection – 28%
Here are the ten worst human fears (with a three-way tie for third place):
1. Speaking in front of a group
3. Insects / bugs, financial problems & deep water
Not a person anywhere ever who doesn’t battle FEAR
DON’T ALWAYS CALL IT FEAR
“concern” “burden” “care” “distraction”
“anxious” – no direct object of our fear
I have never met a person who didn’t struggle with fear
different fears, shown in different ways
pastors: fear of failure (all men … everyone)
ALL have it because sin separates us from God
something missing, only found in God
motivate to do right (like guilt, anger, etc)
men exercise, watch diet because of heart problems
I get ‘fear’ before Sunday sermon, speaking, etc.
usually experience them in negative way today
EXAMPLES OF FEAR IN THE BIBLE
.Abraham, in calling his wife his sister
.Isaac, in calling his wife his sister
.Jacob, in flying from Laban
.The ten spies
.To meet Goliath
.20,000 Of Gideon’s army
.David, in fleeing from Absalom
GOD is the answer to this…
TURN TO LUKE 12
Jesus criticized by rel rulers for not keeping all their rules & rituals
He criticizes them for focusing on the outside only
I. FEAR OF PEOPLE IS WRONG
A. LEADS TO HYPOCRISY
1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
“Hypocrisy” = “under a mask” like actors
“Yeast” = grows until seen by all, destroys
2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
MI = futility of hypocrisy, it will be exposed
Why all this @ Hypocrisy? What causes hypocrisy?
-Concern @ what others will think of us
FEAR OF PEOPLE
B. IS UNFOUNDED – WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
Peer Pressure not right
No fear is right!
“God has not given us a spirit of fear..”
II Timothy 1:7
Fear of public speaking
Back in the days of the Roman Empire during a circus in the Colosseum, a Christian was thrown to a hungry lion. As the spectators cheered, the wild beast pounced. But the Christian quickly whispered something in the lion’s ear and the beast backed away in terror. After this happened several times, the emperor sent a centurion to find out what magic spell could make a ferocious lion cower in fear. A few minutes later the guard returned and said, “The Christian whispered in the lion’s ear, ‘After dinner you’ll be required to say a few words.'”
EXAMPLES OF FEAR OF PEOPLE:
.Aaron, in yielding to the Israelites, when they demanded an idol
.Nicodemus, in coming to Jesus by night
.Peter, in denying the Lord
.Joseph of Arimathaea, secretly a disciple
.Saul kept best when fought Amalek “because I feared the people and listened to their voice”
.Pilate great example
Fear keeps man from doing anything
One day in July, a farmer sat in front of his shack, smoking his corncob pipe. Along came a stranger who asked, “How’s your cotton coming?” “Ain’t got none,” was the answer. “Didn’t plant none. ‘Fraid of the boll weevil.” “Well, how’s your corn?” “Didn’t plant none. ‘Fraid o’ drouth.” “How about your potatoes?” “Ain’t got none. Scairt o’ tater bugs.” The stranger finally asked, “Well, what did you plant?” “Nothin’,” answered the farmer. “I just played it safe.”
Fear of man wrong
Fear of God right (READ V 5)
C. GOD IS THE ONLY ONE TO FEAR
1. HE HAS THE POWER OF LIFE/DEATH
5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Fear = RESPECT, not terror
unfortuantely many have FEAR fear of God
fear parents when young, fear all authority = GOD
“What is the WORST than can happen?”
– DEAD! (Not so bad)
probably won’t happen – just anticipation
most fear is anticipation
KINDS OF FEAR
“might be” – anticipation – worry, anxiety
hear a noise downstairs in dark
feel funny lump in your breast
talk of downsizing at work
money starts running low for the month
“will be” – reality –
see stranger in house at night
lump in breast is cancerous
you are laid off from work
money is gone and bills keep coming
AGAIN, TYPES OF FEAR
Good: call 911 for stranger
go to doctor, get treatment for lump
start looking for new job
take actiion to get bills paid
Bad: sit around and panic, worry, depressed, angry
assume you’ll be killed (by stranger)
or die or cancer
think you’ll never be hired and are a failure
fear you won’t have a home or food to eat
ATTRIBUTES OF FEAR TO BE REAL
1. POTENCY – something that has power to make fear
women fear mice??? Spiders???? Garden snake??
Elephant fear mice? – run up nose?
2. IMMINENCY – something there at that time
Me @ heights: not afraid of them now (not high)
Nancy @ dogs: not this minute
If not POTENT & IMMINENT no reason at all to fear!
Faith now for then
if are both – faith to get through it
God NOT give faith now to get through my fear of being high
most fears are learned
ME: ferris wheel when young
Nancy: bad experience with dog
dogs don’t bother me at all, hights no problem for Nancy!
Why fear God? He is in charge of everything
2. HE IS IN SOVEREIGN CONTROL
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
God knows all, in charge of all
no need to fear, worry!
ME WATCH CATERPILLAR stuck on table top, crawl to one edge, look down, turn and go other way to other edge, same thing. Tried to help it, but panicked more when I tried to intervene — more afraid of what I was trying to do to help than problem!
Same with people with God
DISCIPLES IN BOAT IN STORM called out to Jesus
came to them walking on water and FREAKED OUT!
KEEP FOCUS (EYES) ON GOD, NOTHING ELSE
“The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?”
Stand for God and He will stand for you!
D. DON’T LET FEAR OF MAN KEEP YOU FROM STANDING UP FOR GOD
8 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9 But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Put God & what HE thinks first & nothing to fear
Not what man thinks first
Face fear to overcome it
Several years ago there was a well-known television circus show that developed a Bengal tiger act. Like the rest of the show, it was done “live” before a large audience. One evening, the tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights highlighted the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer skillfully put the tigers through their paces. In the middle of the performance, the worst possible fate befell the act: the lights went out! For twenty or thirty long, dark seconds the trainer was locked in with the tigers. In the darkness they could see him, but he could not see them. A whip and a small kitchen chair seemed meager protection under the circumstances, but he survived, and bwhen the lights came on, he calmly finished the performance. In an interview afterward, he was asked how he felt knowing that the tigers could see him but that he could not see them. He first admitted the chilling fear of the situation, but pointed out that the tigers did not know that he could not see them. He said, “I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. And they never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me.”
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
No need to worry!
REACTIONS TO FEAR
1. PANIC and do wrong thing, worse off
2. PARALYZED and do nothing, worse off
3. PEACE by trusting God in control
CAN’T HAVE fear AND faith AT THE SAME TIME
can’t be looking in 2 directions at once
Jesus walking on water # 3
Disciples # 2 until knew it was Jesus
Peter to Jesus # 3, then # 1
EXAMPLES OF OVERCOMING FEAR OF PEOPLE
.Peter and John, in refusing to obey men, rather than God
.Joshua and Caleb, in advising that Israel go at once and possess the land
.Joab, in reproving King David
.Joseph of Arimathaea, in caring for the body of Jesus
Prov 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
OVERCOMING FEAR OF PEOPLE
be more concerned aobut what Jesus thinks than what others think
1 Pet 3:13-15 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 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,
One of our biggest reasons for fear is GREED
fear we won’t have enough!
II. FEAR OF UNMET NEED IS WRONG
A. ILLUSTRATED: PARABLE OF GREEDY MAN
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
greedy, fearful of not getting enough
one of our biggest greeds and fears
EASY to trust God when nothing to trust Him for, all OK
HARDER when a lot is on the line!
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Man acted in FEAR of not having enough!
“Can’t take it with you.”
Never satisfied, always want more!
B. EXPLAINED: FEAR DOESN’T HELP AT ALL
1. LIFE IS MORE THAN THINGS
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
It’s not the greatness of our troubles but the littleness of our faith
God is bigger than my problem – or problem bigger than God
2. GOD PROVIDES OUR NEEDS
24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
God will provide!
FEAR & FAITH cannot keep house together
when one enters, other leaves
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Worry decreases life, doesn’t increase it
-quantity and quality
27 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
God provides our NEEDS, not WANTS
Fear not removed, but God helps us through it
A father said that his little girl, who was much afraid of the dark, slept at night in a crib beside his bed. Often he had been wakened during the night by a little voice saying, “Papa, it’s dark! It’s dark, papa! Take Nellie’s hand.”
And when, in answer, he had taken hold of the lifted hand, she sank quietly to sleep, all her fears being taken away. The remembrance of the pleading voice had often helped him to remember, in the midst of troubles and distress, that he, too, had a Father to whom he could lift his hand and say, “Father, it is dark! Take my hand.”
3. GOD GIVES US EVERYTHING
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
God will provide needs!
“I have lived a long life and seen lots of trouble, but most of it didn’t happen!” Mark Twain
JACOB worried about ESAU
EXAMPLE OF OVERCOMING FEAR WITH FAITH
.Abraham, in leaving his fatherland
Abraham for a son
In offering Isaac
Joseph in prison
Moses’ mother putting him in basket
.David, in killing Goliath
Daniel in lion’s den
.The three Hebrews, who refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar – fiery furnace
.Daniel, in persisting in prayer regardless of the edict against praying – lions den
.Nehemiah, in refusing to take refuge in the temple
.Esther, in going to the king to save her people
.Thomas, in being willing to die with Jesus
.Paul, in going to Jerusalem, despite his impressions that bonds and imprisonments awaited him
2 Tim 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
John Wesley: “Today I visited one who was ill in bed. She had buried 7 of her family in 6 months, and had just heard that her beloved husband was drowned at sea. I asked, “Don’t you worry about these things?” She answered with a loving smile on her pale cheeks, “Oh, no! How can I worry at anything which is in the will of God? Let Him take all besides; He has given me Himself. I have learned to love and praise Him every moment.”
What were you worrying about last year at this time?
Christians miss God’s peace in life when worry
D.L. Moody had a favorite verse. It was “I will trust and not be afraid.” He used to say, “You can travel to Heaven first-class or second-class. First-class is, ‘I will trust and not be afraid.’ Second-class is, ‘when I am afraid, I will trust in thee.'”
365 “Fear Nots” in the Bible
one for each day of the year
ARMOR OF GOD our defense against fear
READ ISAIAH 41:10 – MEMORIZE!
REVELATION 1:17-18 – “
Prov 28:1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
EVERY DAY we must choose our response to fear.
Will you give in to it?
Will you be victorious over it?
1. No Fear to a . . Determined Old Man. Luke 1:13
2. No Fear to a . . Dedicated Young Woman. Luke 1:30
3. No Fear to a . . Disappointed Young Man. Matt 1:20
4. No Fear to Some . . Dedicated Servants. Luke 2:10