Hope and Fear (Part 3)

II. FAITH IN JESUS HELPS US TO OVERCOME FEAR

A. JESUS TAUGHT THAT FEAR IS INDICATIVE OF LITTLE FAITH…
1. When His disciples were fearful of the storm at sea – Mt 8:
23-27
2. When Peter faltered as he went to Jesus walking on the water
– Mt 14:25-33
3. As Jesus taught them not to have fearful anxiety concerning
the necessities of life – Lk 12:27-32
— As someone put it: “Fear is simply unbelief parading in
disguise.”

B. JESUS ADDRESSED OUR WORST FEARS…
1. The fear of what we might face in this life
a. Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of
the age.” – Mt 28:20
b. With such a promise, we can take courage, as Joshua was
encouraged to do – cf. Josh 1:9
c. With the Lord at our side, what can man do? – cf. He 13:5-6
d. The worst that can happen is death, and Jesus addressed
that…
2. The fear of death
a. His own victory over death frees us from the fear of death
– cf. He 2:14-15
b. Thus Paul could face death with great confidence, even
anticipation – Ph 1:21-23
3. The fear of what comes after death
a. Jesus comforted His disciples with the promise of lies
ahead – cf. Jn 14:1-3
b. Thus Paul could look forward to what he would receive
– 2 Ti 4:6-8 (note that it was because he had “kept the
faith”!)
— When we’ve overcome these fears through faith in Jesus, other
fears will seem petty!

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Hope and Fear (Part 2)

I. UNDERSTANDING FEAR


   A. FEAR DEFINED…
      1. According to the American Heritage dictionary:
         a. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence
            or imminence of danger
         b. Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power
      2. As the above definition suggests, there are two different
         kinds of fear…
         a. One is wrong, which we are addressing in this lesson
         b. The other is necessary, as stressed in the Book of Proverbs
            1) The “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of knowledge
               – Pr 1:7
            2) The “fear of the Lord” will cause one to hate evil
               – Pr 8:13
            3) The “fear of the Lord” will prolong life – Pr 10:27
            4) The “fear of the Lord” provides strong confidence and is
               a fountain of life – Pr 14:26-27
            5) The “fear of the Lord” prompts one to depart from evil
               – Pr 16:6
            6) The “fear of the Lord” leads to a satisfying life, and
               spares one from much evil – Pr 19:23
            7) The “fear of the Lord” is the way to riches, honor, and
               life! – Pr 22:4
         c. The value of fearing God, as expressed by others:
            1) “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you
               fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not
               fear God, you fear everything else.” (Oswald Chambers)
            2) “The right fear is the fear of losing God.” (Meister
               Eckhart)


   B. THE WRONG KIND OF FEAR…
      1. Fear which is groundless
         a. Many social and specific phobias fall into this category
         b. Here is a list of the most common fears, and the percentage
            of people which fear them…
                     Top 12 Fears                 Scientific Name
            1) Speaking before a group (40%)        Topophobia
            2) Heights (30%)                        Acrophobia
            3) Insects and bugs (20%)               Entomophobia
            4) Financial problems (20%)             Atephobia
            5) Deep Water (20%)                     Bathophobia
            6) Disease (20%)                        Phathophobia
            7) Death (20%)                          Thanatophobia
            8) Flying (20%)                         Aerophobia
            9) Loneliness (15%)                     Monophobia
           10) Dogs (10%)                           Cynophobia
           11) Driving/riding in a car (10%)        Ochophobia
           12) Dark (10%)                           Nyctophobia
               — Charles J. Givens, Super-Self (Simon & Schuster,
                  1993), p. 288.
         c. Such fears are often the result of misinformation
         d. “FEAR is False Education Appearing Real” (Denis Waitley)
      2. Fear that makes problems seem greater than they really are
         a. “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” (German proverb)
         b. “Fear makes man believe the worst” (unknown)
         c. With exaggerated fears of the problems we face, we think
            them overwhelming
      3. Fear that prevents us from enjoying the blessings we have
         a. “He who fears death cannot enjoy life.” (Spanish proverb)
         b. “Who lives in fear will never be a free man.” (Horace,
            65-8 B.C.)
         c. Certainly one who fears cannot be at peace and know true
            joy
      4. Fear that hinders our ability to be of service to God
         a. “Fear is the sand in the machinery of life.” (E. Stanley
            Jones)
         b. Fear of people, fear of failure, often hinder Christians in
            their service; e.g., personal evangelism
      5. Fear that motivates us to disobey God
         a. Certain fears often prompt us to do things which are
            displeasing to God
         b. For example, in a poll of teenagers, among other things
            they feared:
            1) Failing in School – 44%
            2) Loneliness – 33%
            3) Not Having a Boyfriend/Girlfriend – 30%
            4) Rejection – 28%
         c. Such fears have often led young people to cheat, get in
            with the wrong crowd, give in to improper sexual advances
         d. Similar fears have prompted many adults to lie, cheat on
            the job, commit adultery, enter unscriptural marriages,
            etc.
         e. Fear of rejection, fear of persecution, etc., has led some
            Christians to denounce their faith in God


[Unless we can overcome the wrong kind of fear, the devil will have
many weapons in his arsenal to use against us.  If we are going to be
victorious over him and also overcome the world, then we will have to
understand how…]

Hope and Fear

Tw Cen MT – “FAITH IS THE VICTORY!” – In Overcoming Fear


INTRODUCTION
1. In preparing His disciples for His imminent arrest, trial, and
   crucifixion, Jesus sought to reassure them by expressing His own
   confidence:
   “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be
   scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I
   am not alone, because the Father is with Me. (Jn 16:32)


2. Though troubling days were ahead, Jesus offered them hope that in
   Him they too could have peace, for He had overcome the world:
   “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
   In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I
   have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)


3. Jesus demonstrated through His death and resurrection that He had
   indeed overcome the world, and now such victory is offered to His
   disciples…
   a. To those who believe, their faith can be the victory to overcome
      the world! – 1 Jn 5:4-5
   b. As we have already seen, faith in Jesus helps us in overcoming
      sin, anxiety, boredom, depression, despair and discontent
   — Through His actions, past and present, and through His teachings,
      Jesus helps those who believe in Him to overcome the world!


4. Such victory also includes overcoming “fear”…
   a. Whether real or imagined
   b. Which like some forms of anxiety (e.g., panic disorders), can
      have a debilitating effect on peoples’ lives


5. Not all fear is harmful, however; there is to be a place in the
   heart of the Christian for the right kind of fear…
   a. Jesus taught us whom to fear – Mt 10:28
   b. Paul wrote of the need for a “fear and trembling” – Ph 2:12; cf.
      2 Co 7:1


[When we properly understand Whom to fear, and how faith in Jesus
dispels the wrong kind of fear, then we can overcome any fear or phobia
that would rob us of the peace Jesus offers.  With that in mind, let’s
examine the subject of fear…]

Debate

Tunga – The last exchange student we had was (and is) Catholic. Our current exchange student is Protestant, but it amazes me how the same things can be taught so differently. We’ve spent much time talking over everything from politics to religion and sometimes I just wonder. I know that God never changes, but it appears that over there elements of gnosticism are accepted, the belief that Christianity is believing in two deities is among them. I don’t think I did a good job trying to explain that we believe in one God who can both grant the entire world mercy and yet order the total destruction of all the peoples in a nation if that is what He chooses to do. I’ve always accepted that God never changes and what we see in the Old Testament is what we’ll see again when Revelation comes to pass. I think we should send missionaries to countries that already have their own belief systems that work out just fine for them. I don’t believe that those who are violent in the name of their religion are only fighting within themselves, their hearts and their minds. If that were the case than the need to cause death and destruction on their way out of this world and into the next is non-sensical and yet it happens every day. Sigh. At least we have all year to set him straight, and from the looks of it, we’ll need it all to get the job done. Any help would be appreciated though.

A Piece of the Action

Trebuchet – (I’m looking into getting myself a mountain bike and I think I’ll choose the Forge Devon CM. I just want to use it for a little bit of everything. On road, off road, moderate to rugged trails, as well as up and down small hills and finally on our property, should be interesting to set up something on the rock quarry ground when we clear away all that glass. I guess it really is going to be a long two weeks. Here’s something entirely different:)


Fizzbin is a fictional card game created by Kirk in the original series episode “A Piece of the Action”. While being held hostage on Sigma Iotia II with Spock and McCoy, he spontaneously invented a confusing card game to distract the henchmen guarding them.


The rules were intentionally very complex. Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer’s right, who gets seven. The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays. Kirk dealt the henchman two jacks, which are a “half-fizzbin.” When the henchman said he needs another jack, Kirk warned that a third jack is a “shralk” and is grounds for disqualification. With two jacks, one wants a king and a deuce, except at night, when one wants a queen and a four.


At this point, Kirk dealt a third jack, but to keep the ruse going, he ignored the disqualification rule he had just made up. He explained that, had a king been dealt instead of a jack, the player would get another card, except when it’s dark, in which case he’d have to give it back. The top hand is a “royal fizzbin,” but the odds of getting one are “astronomical”: when Kirk asked Spock what the odds are, Spock truthfully replied that he had never computed them.


Kirk called the last card a “kronk” and then purposely dealt a card such that it fell on the floor. As the henchman being taught reached down, Kirk punched him in the face after hitting him in the stomach, and Spock nerve-pinched the other guard, allowing the three to escape.


Once in Deep Space Nine, Quark mentioned the game as a way for him and Odo to while away the time while traveling on a runabout; whether it had become a real game or if it had been a reference was never explained. Playable versions of the game have been invented.

My Brother

Times New Roman – I’ve always gotten along well with my little brother. I don’t know why I say he is little though, he may be five years younger than me, but he is taller than me. We always grow the boys in our family tall. Growing up, we’d use him as a sort of tug-of-war rope, we’d try to get him to play with us so that the other sibling had to go and play by herself. He and me would tend to play together, leaving my sister to go and keep herself occupied. One year, he was given a mini-tool kit. The only thing he knew that had screws was our swingset. He got to work on it. The next week all three of us and a few neighbor kids were all playing on the swingset. I was on the second story or on top of the second story. The kids on the swings were swinging so much the swingset seemed to jump forward and backward with every pass. Then we all went forward and the ground stopped the fall. The swingset had slammed into the ground. None of us were hurt, but we were sort of dazed. Note to self: do not give my brother any more tool kits.


By the time I was in middle school in Indiana, I was amazed at how many girls around the lunch table couldn’t stand their little brothers. I liked my little brother, but not when we played some video games. He had mad skills when it came to certain games and levels. We got along well. As time went on, he developed interests in cooking (from whence comes my nickname for him, he likes spices so I call him a Talaxian) and computer programming. We had long ago learned that if we put a password on the computer he could work his way around them. This curious talent led to him getting into a little trouble. He knows more about computers than the people who are in charge of them at school. He had even worked his way into the account that has all the information about all the students and workers at all the schools in the entire county. Good thing that my uncle in the computer business didn’t teach him ethical hacking.


I remember how my dad would always take him to the farm that our family had gotten in a trade after the Oklahoma Land Run. He would also help dad in the garden all summer long. I wonder what had happened. My brother spends much of his time these days on the internet, on the game Runescape and Dad hasn’t kept up with his hobbies. In fact, all my little brother wants is ‘to not be bothered while he plays the computer’ no matter how many successive hours that may be (which tends to be four to six hours sessions.) He’s a good kid though.

Whose Side is God on?

Tahoma – (Over the week I took a stab at making jelly, it was a mixture cranberry and grape juice. Star Trek fans could call it Klingon Bloodwine Jelly. It turned out surprisingly well, has an interesting deep red color, and a slightly subtle yet good flavor. My brother made some pizza crackers, it’s a delightful snack. Townhouse crackers + pizza sauce + shreded mozzarella cheese + a pepparoni slice + a half a minute in the microwave = pizza crackers. My aunt told my parents about their new friends whose address sounded strangely familliar. After asking us about it, we realized that it was the very same address where we once lived over ten years ago. My aunt sent us some pictures of the place and we were astounded at the changes. The place looks a hundred percent better, inside and out. Way to go, new owners, your sense of taste is exquisite!)


The Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. —1 Chronicles 28:9I do not boast that God is on my side,” wrote Abraham Lincoln. “I humbly pray that I am on God’s side.”


Lincoln’s words paraphrase the thoughts Azariah expressed to King Asa of Judah. After the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, he said, “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chron. 15:2).


Throughout history, people have done despicable deeds while boldly claiming that God was on their side. But being a Christian doesn’t guarantee that God is “on our side” any more than being an ancient Israelite guaranteed that God was on theirs (Isa. 3:14-15). God is on the side of those who are on His side—who know His heart and mind and do His will—not those who insist on convincing God and others that their way is right.


Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord indicated that He sides with the oppressed (Isa. 58:6-7,10). For Christians, that means it is right to be on the side of those who are being wronged.


Instead of jumping into a situation with the presumption that God is on our side, we need to be certain that we are on His.  — Julie Ackerman Link


Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine! —Havergal


It’s dangerous to mistake our wishes for God’s will.