Why are you Fearful?
A short online Bible course.
When Jesus walked this earth, he often crossed the Sea of Galilee by boat. Since most of his disciples were fishermen, they knew how to handle boasts. On one occassion, a sudden storm came up and the disciples feared for their lives. The disciples woke Jesus and asked: “Lord save us, we perish.” Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and his disciples. He stilled the sea. He asked: “Why are you fearful, o ye of little faith?” The question also comes to us today: “Why are you fearful?”
1. Why are you fearful?
•Is there a storm in your life? Or has Jesus already stilled the storm?
•Is Jesus asleep now? Or is Jesus in the boat with you now, but not asleep?
•Is your boat sinking? Or is your boat secure?
•Are you perishing? Or are you save in the arms of Jesus?
•That story is found in Mat 8:24-27 and Mark 4:35-41.
Jesus wanted to have the disciples exchange their fears for faith. The disciples were fearful because the waves were covering their boat and it looked like it was going to go down.
Here fear was a signal of the danger to come. Faith on the other hand was the assuance of the power of God who controlled nature. Here the fear of the disciples was helpful in pointing out the comining danger. Jesus could do something about their fears and He did.
2. Helpful or Harmful Fear
•Helpful fear stops evil and fosters faith. Fear of God and fear of loss are helpful fears.
•Harmful fear fosters evil and stops faith. Fears that lead to doubt are harmful fear.
Thus some fears are helpful and other fears are harmful. Helpful fear keeps you out of trouble, harmful fear gets you into trouble.
You make the choice to let fears help you or harm you. Jesus wanted his disciples to have helpful fear that would help them walk by faith.
3. Fear is…
•an unpleasant emotion induced by a DANGER, which causes a change in brain functions, organ functions and behavior.
•Fear can overcome faith. Faith can overcome fear. It is your choice, if you live by fear or by faith.
There seem to be seven core emotions, and most can be positive or negative, helpful or harmful.
For example, anger at evil may be helpful, anger at something good may be harmful. The seven core emotions are: happiness
Besides, you fear disappointment, disaster, hurt, and criticism.
Researchers in the USA have discovered that the following ten items cause the greatest fear today. Terrorist attacks, spiders, death, being a failure, war, criminal. violence, being alone, the future, and nuclear war. You can avoid fear by praising God, seeking God, depending on God and avoiding sin.
4. Bible Texts that Teach about Fear
Why Not Fear?
•for I am with you.
•I (Jesus) will strengthen you.
•I (Jesus) will help you.
•I (Jesus) will upHOLD you. Is 41:10
Jesus states the main reason for not fearing: He is with you. He can overcome every foe. Then he gives you three reasons what He will do for you: strengthen you, help you, uphold you. You have nothing to fear when God is with you. He takes care of you. You do not have to fear because the allpowerful God is on your side. He is stronger than any enemy.
God is willing to share His strength with you. You fear only when you are weak, not when you are strong. God promises to help you in what you are doing. He is well able to help you. Knowing that His help is available takes away your fear. God helps you even when you cannot help yourselve. You are constantly in danger of falling. God upholds you so that you will not fall. He holds you up so that you do not hurt yourselve. He takes away your fear of falling.
God fights for you
•God told Moses:
•Do not fear.
•See the salvation of the Lord. Ex 14:13
The reason why we do not fear is becasue God fights for you. God just tells you to watch Him fight. If God does not fight for you, you are weak and have much to fear. But that is not the case. You are to go on by faith and let God do what he can do best, namely look after you. It is wonderful to see the power of God and His victory. He saves you by His mightly power. It is difficult to stand still during danger. But at times it is the better choice. It is better to let God fight for you than to mess things up with your attempts to overcome the enemy.
God will not leave you.
•and of good courage.
•Do not fear.
•God goes with you. Deut 31:6
If God would leave you, we would have something to fear. But God has promised not to leave you. He gives you His strength, so that you have nothing to fear. He gives you courage to take on the enemy and come out victorious. God is right near you and stays with you so that you have nothing to fear. Our good courage gives us strength to overcome fear.
Fear No evil.
•You never fear good.
•You welcome all good.
•Fear harm you.
•You lose in fear. Ps 24:4
While evil may be all around us, you do not have to fear it because your God is stronger than any evil. Fear is always connected with evil, never with good. You welcome the good and the good blesses you. Evil on the other hand harms you and wants to destroy you. But with a good God to protrect you, evil cannot harm you. Because of God’s protection from evil, you can go on without fear. Fear and evil have no power over you.
Love overcomes fear
•For God has not given you
•the spirit of fear,
•but of power,
•and of love,
•and self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:7
It is the love of God and His goodness that overcomes fear. You are not controlled by the spirit of fear but the spirit of love. Love is powerful enough to cast out fear. You are saved by the power of God. A lack of self-discipline result in fear. A full measure of self-discipline overcomes fear. It is a power that overcomes fear. It is the power of faith.
Peace erases fear
•Peace I give you.
•Let not your heart be troubled
•Neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
Just like love overcomes fear, so does peace. You are fearful in times of uncertainty and war. But you are empowered by the peace of God that overcomes all fear. A troubled heart is not at peace with God and with others. Faith takes away fear. It takes away the troubles of ones heart. It is a great blessing.
Men cannot hurt you.
•You boldly say:
•The Lord is my helper.
•and I will not fear
•what man shall do unto me. Heb 13:6
When we walk by faith in the strength of the Lord, fear is not able to hurt you. You are strong enough to withstand all evil. With this confidence, you are harmproof. Others may try to harm you, but they cannot overcome the strength of the Lord. Others may try to harm you, but in God’s strength, you go on by faith and loose all fear.
Danger and fear will come, but you have a choice between helpful and harmful fear. Men are not able to hurt you.
Helpful fear is based on faith. It is a trust in God who will see you through the dangers.
5. Stop Harmful Fear
•Go positive, not negative.
•Consider the odds.
•Pray and trust God.
•Consider the perspective.
*What do you fear? Define it, analyze it, budget for it, see it as opportunity. *How do you control fear? Breath, move, make notes, calm down, accept it. *How do you counteract fear of darkness (light), of speaking (notes), of fire (water). When you are upset, angry or troubled, harmful fear readily takes over. This does not have to be. You live by faith, not by fear. Faith strengthens you and sees you over every danger.
6. Go with Helpful Fear
•Go by faith the 2nd mile.
•Do no harm.
•Learn from your past.
When you go beyond what is required of you, you walk the second mile. You do not have to help in every case, but heling frees you to love others. You go the second mile by the grace of God. You chose to do good, rather than evil. You are blessed in doing good, and you bless others. Doing good helps you grow in strength. You go beyond your limits. You keep growing in the strength of your Lord. You have an opportunity to learn from your experiences. You learn by faith to overome fear.
Face your Fear of Dogs
- Step 1: Look at a picture of dogs.
- Step 2: Watch a video with dogs in it.
- Step 3: Look at a dog through a window.
- Step 4: Stand 10 feet away from a dog on a leash.
- Step 5: Stand beside a dog on a leash.
- Step 6: Pet a small dog that someone is holding.
- Step 7: Pet a larger dog on a leash.
Much of fear comes because the fearful thing is unfamiliar. Makeing the fearful things in your live our friend reduces your fears. We fear becasue we do not know what is beyond. But once we know, fear often loses its power over you. We can learn to walk by faith into the dark.
Why are you then fearful? Is it not because you do not trust God. Is it not becasue you lack faith that God will take care of you. God takes care of you if you lean on Him or not. Once you decide to walk by faith, fear dissapears. Fear loses its stings. Faith takes over. Thank God.
7. Wisdom that Overcomes Fear
*Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.
Karl Augustus Menninger
*Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
*I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
*I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
William Allen White
* Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.
*You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
*You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
*In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
*The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft
*Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Let us know your response to the above study.