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Conquering Fear



by Rev. Otis Nixdorf
Pastor, East Side Baptist Church
Independence, MO


Text: 2 Timothy 1:7-9

Introduction:

Everyone knows what it is like to be afraid. We all have things that we are afraid of - Me - storms, my wife - spiders, some people are terrified of snakes ...

There are hidden fears that motivate us too - Fear of failure causes many people to never start, or try anything that is not completely safe. Fear of rejection makes us afraid to do anything that could draw criticism or give someone a chance to laugh at us

I could go on and on talking about fears and phobias ...

There are two kinds of fear : Fear that is good - Keeps us from driving 100 mph, or other foolish things that you can think of... and Fear that is harmful - This is the "spirit of fear" mentioned here . This fear paralyzes us, keeps us from doing things we could or should do.

Perhaps there is a fear that you need to overcome today.

This passage gives us insight on


"Overcoming Fear."



I. Satan's Purpose For Our Fear

A. Satan is a master at using our fears. He can keep us from being an effective Christian, or happy person by using our own fears ...

He uses the "spirit of fear" to:

1. Make our lives miserable. Worry and fear can make our life miserable!

Illustration:

There was a lady who died in 1916 named Hetty Green. She was called America's greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at $100 million. But she was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water. When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated because of advanced infection. I am sure she was worried about losing her wealth, so she didn't even enjoy her life!

We can be so afraid of losing our wealth or job that we never enjoy our life ... lay off

I know some people who are so afraid that something is going to happen to their marriage, that they never get close, or have the intamacy they could have ...

We all know people who are "worry warts" and they are miserable!

2. He also makes us ineffective

a. Many times we do not share our faith with someone because of fear.

What will they think of me?

What if I turn them off?

What if I mess up?

They probably won't listen to me anyway!

These are the common fears satan uses to make us ineffective witnesses!

b. Sometimes we don't get involved in service because of fear-

I can't teach a Sunday School class

I can't go surveying,

I can't help in the nursery ...

I could never be a pastor, missionary ...

Fear can keep us from serving God

B. Satan's Method for using Fear:

1. He uses our past sins

2. He uses the possibilities of the future

3. He uses the potential of failure

4. He uses the certainty of criticism

Satan is a master at using our fears to stop us, to bind us, and to rob us!


II. God's Gifts for Overcoming Our Fears


Note: God has not given us the "spirit of fear", But He has given us three things that will help us overcome fear:

A. The gift of Power

Through Christ Jesus, I can do anything God wants me to do!!! (Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. That means anything God wants me to do, I can do it...

1. Power to be saved - (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

2. Power to be a witness for Him - (Acts 1:8) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

3. Power to be Joyful - (Rom 15:13) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

4. Power to make you a strong believer - (Rom 16:25) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, ...

5. Power to endure trials - (2 Cor 12:9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

If you are trusting in, drawing from , relying on, beliving in the one who has the power, He will give you the power you need!

Don't be afraid! use his power!!!

B. The Gift of Love

At first glance, It does not seem that Love could be effective in conquering fear...

But we see in (1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Here is how this works:

1. Love for God

The more we love God, the less fear we will have. It is a matter of trust. When we realize that God will take care of us, it relieves our fear. My kids do not worry about having something to eat. For all these years we have provided for them. They trust in me. Now if I had not provided for them, they would be worried. But they know I

love them and will provide for them, so they are not afraid about that... This is why Romans 8:28 says (Rom 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Love of God relieves our fears!

2. Love for Others

The more we love others the less fear we will have. Love causes us to overcome our fear for the good of others ... Rescue workers - Ambulance drivers ...

Love causes us to tell others about Jesus. To teach a Sunday School class. To help others in need...

C. The Gift of a Sound Mind

Most of the time our harmful fears are the result of wrong thinking. But something happens when we are saved and begin to trust God. Our mind is renewed! - (Rom 12:2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1. In my way of thinking, I may be afraid I won't make it financially - IF I trust in God and accept His way of thinking, I will be assured He will take care of me! (Luke 12:28) If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

2. If I am afraid of dying... That fear is calmed by knowing - (2 Cor 5:8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. We could go on and apply this to every other fear we may have.

When we think Biblically, we have a "sound mind".

Conclusion: Conquering fear is not a matter of self determination, It is a matter of dependence on the God whom we can trust and love. In Christ you can conquer your fear.


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