Fear

QUESTIONS THE BIBLE ASKS YOU #4

Have you noticed that life so often seems to be a battle? Instead of out into the world, it can feel like we are going off to war!

A normal day can be like a walk through a briar patch with thorns clawing at us from every side. And who knows when the next monster is going to leap out of a hiding place to attack us.

These monsters are not just in the world, some of them are in our own fears, failures and accusations. God who has saved us forever and is committed to caring for us just as long, reminds us He is our greatest reality by asking us this question:

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Here is God’s question to us in its context from Romans 8:31-39  

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you have a confident answer to God’s question?

QUESTIONS THE BIBLE ASKS YOU #2

For many of us worry is as much a part of life’s routine as the daily sun rising of the sun. We think worry is inevitable, necessary, and a part of our life responsibility.

However, obeying God and then trusting His sovereign care is a much better way to approach the responsibilities of life.

Jesus sought to burst our misguided sense of needing to worry when he asked this question:

Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Here is Jesus question from Luke 12:22-31 in its full context:

(Jesus) said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.  For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

How do you answer Jesus?

A GAME PLAN FOR WORRY

This is probably one of those blogs that does not relate to you, but one of your “friends” could sure benefit from reading it. Today we look at our response to worry and anxiety. Actually I am going to do something far better than write about it myself. I am going to connect you to some excellent and practical thoughts from the always thoughtful, David Powlison.

This particular article was posted on the Christian Coalition Blog a few weeks ago. My wise and wonderful wife Debbie, found it for me – not that I would ever need it, but I might have a “friend” who would find it helpful to read. So for all of you who have “friend”s that worry and get anxious, please read . . um, I mean, have them read this article entitled “A Game Plan When For You Start to Worry”.

Sermon Leftovers 9.05.11

Is God big enough to hold our fears?

Psalm 27:1-3 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”

The psalmist gives three reasons why God is greater than our fears

1. God is our light

Darkness brings fear, because it contains the unknown.

I John 1:5 says “God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” God’s wisdom is total and His goodness is perfect. To Him nothing is confusing or surprising.

When we follow our Lord, his light shines on us!

  • The light of his presence removes fear, because He is always right here
  • The light of his truth removes fear, because it gives us clarity about life (Psalm 119:105)

Much of our fear is worrying about what might happen. Yet, we have the answer to what will happen, God will be faithful and He will glorify!

2. God is our salvation

There is one thing everyone should fear: standing before God in the guilt of our sin, to receive His justice (Hebrews 10:31). Christ removes this fear by taking our judgment on himself

We are saved from the need to fear loss or harm.

How can we lose, when our Father owns everything? And any harm that does touch us, becomes surgical in His hands (Romans 8:28).

We are saved to restoration.

Christ brings us into a relationship driven by grace. Even when God’s disciplines, it is entirely directed by grace.

Because of our salvation, we know where our life is headed. We will be with Christ forever enjoying a new creation that will never be marred. Our future holds nothing to fear!

3. God is the stronghold of our life

The word “stronghold” is meant to convey the idea of a fortress. Because this world rejects the rule and the truth of God, evil and fearful things will be the result

However we live within the fortress of God’s sovereignty and goodness

Everything that happens to us, takes place in the palm of God’s hand

Everything that touches us has already touched God (Zechariah 2:8, Acts 9:4)

Yes, evil will come against us, but only God has us in His power


How Do We Keep Away From The Claws Of Fear?

1. Stop holding on to fearful things ourselves (Philippians 4:6-7)

If fear is gripping us, it is a sign that we are grasping what we should let go

We turn things over to God, by no longer trying to control them

2. Stop relying on what will fail us

Everything outside of God falls into this category: people, money, governments and human wisdom will all fail us

To rely on God means He is sufficient in Himself for us to have peace

3. Stop listening to ourselves and instead preach the gospel to ourselves

The truths of the gospel make a mockery of fearful things

Preach to yourself the glorious truths that define God and our new reality in Christ

Problems will always seek to cling to our thoughts, so we must insert God into them

We either magnify fearful things, or magnify Christ and gospel

Is God big enough to hold all your fears?