Afraid Not: Fear and Faith
The first example of fear in Scripture is from Adam in the garden:
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
* When sin enters the world (in Genesis 3), fear is rampant.
* While it began at the fall of creation, in 2020 we are being tormented by fear, anxiety and worry like never before.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
* Spirit of fear – pneuma deilos – fearfulness, torment, dread, cowardice
* The term gives the sense of being tormented or haunted by something that begins outside of oneself but, once entertained, enters in.
* Paul contrasts the idea of this spirit with three things:
* A sound mind
* The term “sound mind” doesn’t really mean “peace” or “calm” but rather self-control or self-discipline.
* Freedom from fear means it doesn’t control you anymore.
Fear is the perversion of faith.
* Fear is faith that God can’t be trusted
* Fear is faith that God will abandon you
* Fear is faith that God is not in your future
* Jesus presents two ideas that are deeply connected: Faith & Fear
* Consider Jesus’ response to fear in John 14:1, “Do not LET your hearts be troubled…”
* Jesus is saying “Don’t allow it!”
* The battle against fear is not passive.
Passive faith cannot defeat pervasive fear.
* Fear loves the passive soul.
* You can build your faith or build your fear but you can’t build both
How to Build Faith:
Immerse yourself in the word
Focus your thoughts on your faith
Linger on the promises of God
Surround yourself with hopeful people
Listen diligently to words of Truth.
How to Build Fear:Immerse yourself in the worldFocus your thoughts on your fearsLinger on the pains of lifeSurround yourself with doubtful peopleListen lazily to words of Truth
Other verses for reflection: