“I, I am he who comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
of the son of man who is made like grass,
 and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
and you fear continually all the day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
when he sets himself to destroy?
And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
 He who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
he shall not die and go down to the pit,
neither shall his bread be lacking.
 I am the LORD your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the LORD of hosts is his name.
 And I have put my words in your mouth
and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
establishing the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
My Refuge and My Fortress
 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
---------------------------------- Fear Not - Taught by Dr. Ricky Poe ------------------------------
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
I will start by saying I am chief of hypocrites on this issue, and as I go through hopefully I will remember to include my own examples.
In the first 5 books of the bible alone there are 613 commands. Throughout the bible does anyone know what the most frequently uttered command is?
It is Fear Not.
Out of 66 books written by some 40 authors over two millennia, this is a recurrent theme. This must be important. It in fact it is not just important it is universal and timeless. Today it is at least as important as it was when these books were written. The number 1 group of medications prescribed today is for anxiety and depression. One thing seems to have remained constant through time: people are governed by their fears. It is the driving force for most people and you can even outwardly see what they are afraid of by how they spend, or don’t spend their money. Fear reveals our values, loves, priorities.
Who or what do you fear?
You only fear losing what you love, and you only fear getting what you hate.
Luke 12:34: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our money goes toward our fear. If you fear not having comfort you will buy entertainment, if you fear not having status you will buy possessions, if you fear approval you will buy clothes and nails and hairstyles, if you fear a lack of friends you will buy gifts. These things relate to fear of man. Man was created to worship, everyone has a throne above them, and something or someone else is on your throne of worship if it is not God.
Recently I was talking to a woman who was telling me with great pride about how she just bought a $2,500 dollar purse. I have to conclude that she was afraid of what I might think of her if I didn’t think she had the finest of things.
Ed Welch wrote “Fear in the biblical sense includes being afraid of someone, but it extends to holding someone in awe, being controlled or mastered by people, worshipping other people, putting your trust in people, or needing people; because if you need someone you are using them not loving them. We replace God with people. When we are in our teens it is called peer pressure, when we are adults it is called people pleasing, recently it has been called co-dependency”.
Proverbs 29:25 says “fear of man lays a snare”; it’s a trap you should avoid. Bullies are everywhere, some are outwardly mean, and some are more subtle and just wear you down with unrelenting repetitive pressure. Saying the same thing over and over until they eventually wear you down. The only power they have over you is the power you give them. They want to rule over you, be your God. Have a conversation like this… walk away. Jesus says in Luke 12:4-5 that the worst thing they can do is kill you. I’ve got news for you, life is scary, and you’re not going to make it (10 out of 10 die - it’s the ultimate statistic). Is there a fate worse than death? Yes.
Is all fear a sin? No. Some fear is good to a degree. It’s kind of silly or irresponsible to not have some justifiable fear… but Proverbs 9:10 says: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Jesus himself I believe experienced great anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane. Anyone know what Hematidrosis is? There have been a dozen or so cases documented in the 20th century, usually in combat. It is where a person’s blood becomes so thick and their blood pressure so high for such a duration that blood leaks from their capillaries and is excreted with sweat from their pores. Sound familiar? In Luke 22:44: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground”. Fear becomes sin when it takes over your life and removes you from God.
Fear makes us a “false prophet”… as “Chief” of “false prophets” in this area; I often predict the future wrongly. I worry and worry about things that will never happen. Sometimes I think my future is bleak, and I will stress about it until it doesn’t happen.
Here is where it becomes really sinful… Psalm 55:22 says: “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved”. 1 Peter 5:7 says: “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. What I typically do is cast my anxieties and then reel them back in. What that in effect says is: God… I’m going to take this back from you, you must not be able to handle this so let me handle it for you. We trust our own strength sometimes, and make ourselves likened to God.
Worry doesn’t help. Luke 12:25 states: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”. No doctor is going to tell you that to live to a ripe old age the key is to worry. In fact, worry shortens your life span.
How do we not worry? It is a lifelong process.
Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes in Philippians 4:6–9:
 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (ESV)
Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything.
Be thankful for everything even before prayers are answered.
Fix your thoughts on what is good and true and right.
Keep practicing daily until you can control your thoughts, which means forever.
Jesus says in Luke 12:28 and 33-34 the following:
Have Faith. Luke 12:28: “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!”.
There is more out of your control than you can possibly imagine, and if you are trying to control everything you are trying to be God, and you are going to be very afraid.
Give. I have never felt anxious when giving of myself to help someone else, not once that I can remember.
Give your BEST, not your junk. “For God so loved the world he… Gave” He gave! He gave the greatest gift he had!
Jesus is not trying to take your stuff here; he is trying to take your stress. A lot of our anxiety comes from our stuff, the less we have, the less we have to worry about.
There is a phrase in recovery circles that says “The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing”. I believe it is an original quote from Steven Covey and is taken to mean in that context to make God the main thing and whatever it is that is distressing you is his and you have nothing to fear. If your main thing is something else, you will certainly fear.
What is your main thing?
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
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