Overcoming Fear // Part 1
We are in some unsettling times. Changes are occurring quickly. These changes are causing many to have anxiety and fear. For the next two weeks leading up to Passover, let’s address fear – what it is and God’s solution for it.
Everyone experiences fear. There are healthy fears and unhealthy ones. Fears that are healthy are those that help us respect boundaries. You might not even call these “fears”. A better word is respect for how something is created. We can respect fire, water, heights, etc. These things have created realities that can harm if not respected and handled correctly. Unhealthy fears are those which stop us from accomplishing our purpose and living life as God intended. Fears of this type need to be dealt with through our relationship with God. What is fear? And, what causes it? That’s our goal for tonight.
We have known and believed the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. /// 1 John 4:16
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. /// 1 John 4:18
As the scripture states, fear brings torment. It causes us to feel unsafe, exposed to danger, alone, etc.
Fear enters the vacuum where love is absent.
Fear is the sense of torment we experience when we don’t know that we are loved. Fears come when we have been dealt with out of a lack of true caring. When we needed to be taken care of but weren’t – when we needed protection but didn’t receive it – when we needed affirmation but received judgment – these situations and others like them fail to transmit the love we need as humans. When love is not transmitted, something else is: fear. Fear is our response to a wound we have received from a time we needed love but received something contrary to love. Anger is often a response to the presence of fear. Much anger is a response to an unhealed wound festering with fear.
The biblical definition of fear is most associated with the notion of withdrawal. Because of the lack of trust and confidence found in fear, we withdraw from situations that require trust and the ability to have confidence in someone else or a belief that someone would love us enough to do something for us.
Fear causes major conflict with faith.
If you don’t believe you are loveable, if you don’t believe anyone can be trusted, you will struggle in your relationship with God because it requires faith in God’s intentions toward you and trust in His Word. If you experience fear – if you are experiencing it right now, your sense of security in God’s love is absent or wavering. Remember what the scripture said?: “We have known and believed the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16a). If we don’t know the love of God – if we allow the enemy to make it nothing more than an abstract concept not experienced and believed, we will experience fear. Fear is not fun to live with. It fills life with doubt because it assaults faith. It causes you to feel alone even if you’re not.
Fear begins as an experience but continues as a belief.
Feelings follow faith. If you believe no one including God can be trusted – if you believe God will do things for others but not for you, then you are operating out of a sense of “faith” in these beliefs. Therefore, what you are believing for causes torment whether it manifests or not. You ever seen or are you a “white-knuckle” flyer? Many don’t fly at all. If they do, they don’t enjoy it at all. Fear causes many to be “white-knuckle” Christians – they won’t believe the promises of God and don’t act upon them or they do but don’t enjoy the journey at all. Tonight begins our freedom from fear.
- 1 John 4:16, 18
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