Faith Over Fear
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Faith and fear both operate out of a belief.
Whether you have faith, or whether you have fear, both of those operate out of a sense of belief in something we haven't seen yet. We are meant to live by faith and not by fear. I want to give us some things that I think will help us as we journey into faith. As we walk in faith, as we see what God has for us in our life, we are going to constantly battle between faith and belief, and between fear. And both of those require belief and trust in what we haven't seen yet. Things that we're afraid of, that we don't know. The reason why we have fear is because we just don't know what's happening. Or the reason why we don't have enough faith is because we're unsure of the next step.
Sometimes we have fear of things that happened a long time ago. We don't even know if they're true anymore today, but they're just kind of ingrained in us, things that we're born with, things that we're brought up in. There's a healthy fear to keep us safe. But, there is also irrational fear, the other side of fear that we don't even know if it's true and yet it grips us. And we all struggle with that. In fact, probably right now, every one of you has some kind of fear in your life that you're wrestling with, or struggling with. And maybe it's something small, and maybe it seems insignificant, or maybe it's something gigantic.
We need to stop living a defeated life when we serve the undefeated Jesus!
The great thing about FAITH is that is gives me HOPE for tomorrow.
When I have hope for tomorrow I am able to walk in VICTORY & POWER today!!
Let brotherly love continue.
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
φοβέω (phobeō). vb. to fear, be afraid. Refers to the state of being afraid or the experience of becoming frightened.
While biblical Hebrew has many words for fear, Greek primarily uses the verb phobeō and related terms like φόβος (phobos).
This is where we get PHOBIA. Check out these rare phobias!
1. Arachibutyrophobia: the fear that peanut butter will stick to the roof of your mouth.
2. Nomophobia: fear of being without cellphone coverage.
3. Ephebiphobia: fear of teenagers
4. Scopophobia: fear of being looked at or stared at
5. Arithmophobia: fear of numbers
6. Xanthophobia: fear of the color yellow
7. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: fear of long words (Ironically, it is also the longest word in the dictionary.)
1. Do Not Fear Doing the Right Thing
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
· Doing the Right Thing is Always Right – But Not Easy
· In the context of Faith – we cannot get tired of doing good because there are souls at sake
· Doing Good to EVERYONE – Especially your fellow Christians
2. Do Not Fear What People Can Do
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
When we do not fear people, it allows us to:
A. Push through difficult circumstances
B. Have good, albeit hard conversations with people
C. Breed confidence in our mission and purpose
D. Keep our focus on Jesus and brings us to find power on our knees in prayer.
3. Do Not Fear Because Jesus is the Same
The late date of the writing of this Epistle would lend itself to speaking to the audience following in the aftermath of the martyrdom of possibly Stephen, James, and possibly even Peter.
The encouragement to follow their faith is one of remaining faithful even in the sight of possible death.
I wonder how often we lose sight of our faith for far less than death. More for inconveniences.
Jesus remaining the same doesn’t necessarily reference his eternal nature, although it is implied and true, it speaks more of as people come and go, as circumstances come and go, there is One who is Constant – Jesus.
There is encouragement here to anchor our lives in Him alone.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
I want to give you a picture of how this may look in our lives today.
In Acts 27 Paul is sailing to Rome when a storm comes and causes them to be driven across the Adriatic Sea.
And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.
How often in our lives do we feel we are caught in the storm and about to crash on the rocks? The connection for this morning is that we don’t just have four anchors to let down in a hope and a prayer – we have Jesus – the ultimate anchor in our life.
So you and I can allow fear to drive us. We can allow fear of the unknown. We can allow fear of what's next. We can allow fear of uncertainty. We can allow fear of culture. We can allow fear of what people are going to say. All these things cause us to drift across the sea into the rocks. Or we say, "I'm going to choose faith over that fear. As hard as it is, I'm going to do the right thing. As hard as it is, I'm not going to worry about what people are going to say about me. As hard as it is, I'm going to get to the point in my life where, at the end of the day, as long as Jesus is still with me, then I am still good."
All of that requires faith. And the whole time you and I have an enemy of our soul that keeps whispering in our ear telling us we're going to crash. We're going to drown. That Jesus is not with us. Have you ever played the "what if" game in your mind? It's a tough spot to be in.
We all deal with that, which is why every day, every single day, the Bible says to pick up your cross daily and to follow. Every day. It's not just a Sunday thing. It's not just when we're in trouble. It's every single day we have to pick up the cross of Jesus and we have to follow him.
Every day there's faith involved in picking up the cross of Jesus. Every day.