No Fear • Afraid – 7/24/22

In 1989, four twenty something guys started selling T-shirts and baggy shorts to their friends. They named their company “No Fear.” Their products became popular among those who wanted to proclaim to the world they had: No Fear. That sounds good, but most us us in some way or other struggle with fear. Did you know that fear on steroids is called a phobia? There are currently over 400 recognized phobias. How about this one: homilophobia which is fear of sermons. Here’s one that could be a problem for some people: pentheraphobia. That’s a fear of mother-in-laws. Those two phobias may not describe you but there are so many phobias and fears. We can put a slogan on a T-shirt that says, “No Fear”, but that’s not entirely accurate because we do have fears in all shapes and sizes. Here’s the good news: God is greater than our fears!

Scriptures – Genesis 2:16-17, 2:24-25, 3:1-11; Numbers 32:23b; Psalm 23:4, 86:5, 118:6; Proverbs 1:7

Verse – 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. Psalm 23:4 NIV

Thought – David, the writer of Psalm 23, basically said, “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death which is that scary frightening place where we’re all headed but I don’t fear.” If we could ask, “Why, is that David?” His reply would be what he wrote thousands of years ago; “Because God is with me.” The presence of God in our lives makes all the difference when it comes to our fear. To see the very first time a human being ever experienced fear, we must go all the way back to Adam and Eve. They were living in the most beautiful place ever created which was known as the Garden of Eden. God made Adam and Eve physically perfect. They were physically perfect and lived in a perfect place. So far so good. They also had a perfect relationship with God and a perfect relationship with each other so why would there be any fear? In Genesis 3:1-11, we read about the first time a human being experienced fear. God called out, “Where are you?” and Adam replied, “I was afraid.” When you look deeper into this story you make three discoveries concerning fear. Discovery #1: Fear comes from disobeying God. Discovery #2: Fear comes from a sense of self awareness of sin. Discovery #3: Fear comes from a distorted view of God.

Questions – Do you have any of the 400 recognized phobias? If so, what is the phobia? When was the last time you experienced fear in your life? What would you say is a “good fear?” Did you grow up in a home where fear was prevalent? If so, how did that affect you as you grew older? What do you think you would have done when confronted with the same temptation Adam and Eve faced? Do you ever remember a time when you tried to “cover up” your sinful actions or thoughts? Explain. Why do you think people are still trying to hide from God in the 21st century? 

Response – Do you need forgiveness? Have you sinned and now are experiencing guilt and shame and fear because of it? God, who is abundant in mercy, is ready to forgive you if you will call on Him in confession and repentance. Come out from your hiding place and confess your sin to God and receive His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Prayer – Dear Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for your grace and forgiveness that is readily available to me. Thank you that I don’t have to face my fears alone because you are with me through all of them. I want to draw closer to you and sense your presence as never before. In your name I pray, Amen.

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