I am Afraid

It's Complicated  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:11
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Emotions are such a confusing thing. Hence the title of this series, It’s Complicated. The first three messages helped lay the foundation from which we are building upon. We gained a basic understanding of how our Creator made us, what has made things so complicated, and how to begin the process of making sense of this mess. Now as we continue to make sense of our emotions from God’s Word let us be encouraged by Paul’s words to the church at Philippi:
Philippians 1:6 AV
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
If you have enrolled in the programme, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and have been given everything you need to win this battle and every other battle you will face.
Ephesians 1:13–14 AV
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
2 Peter 1:3–4 AV
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Last week, Robert did a wonderful job bringing to light anger and the powerful affect it has in our lives. Bringing clarity to this often confusing emotion with the perfect wisdom from above found in God’s Word. And if you struggle with anger the clinical programme of the Great Physician will put you on the path to recovery. Trust Him and submit to His plan.
Now we continue on and look at our next emotional struggle all of us face. It’s Complicated: I am Afraid.
Job 21:6 AV
Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
Isaiah 21:4 AV
My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
Fear, what is it? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Is fear healthy or unhealthy?
Michael Prichard, a Keynote Speaker and Youth Motivator has said:

Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.—Michael Pritchard*

Greek Philosopher Aristotle said:

Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.—Aristotle

Fear has tremendous power. It can influence our lives for better or for worse.
Vickie Kraft in a book posted on Bible.org entitled, Facing Your Feelings wrote:
Fear is part of our Creator's loving provision for us. Properly controlled, fear protects us from harm and motivates us toward positive action.
Uncontrolled fear, however, can lock us into an emotional prison and stunt our personal and spiritual growth. Unrestrained fear darkens our lives; it colors everything we do. It is a great obstacle to our spiritual growth. (Kraft, Vickie. (2007). Facing Your Feelings. Retrieved from https://bible.org/series/facing-your-feelings.)
There is a healthy level of fear and an unhealthy level of fear. One calls you to respect something that has power:
Proverbs 1:7 AV
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
While the other hinders you from doing what you know you are supposed to do or encourages you to do that which you should not do.
Proverbs 29:25 AV
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

What is a Healthy Level of Fear?

A healthy level of fear can be towards people.
Deuteronomy 2:25 AV
This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
God promised He would empower Israel in such a way that people would have a proper respect towards them as God’s chosen people, and choose to follow the one true God.
It can be towards things.
Isaiah 7:25 AV
And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.
Most of us would say we have a respect to the thorns of a rose bush.
It can be within situations.
Jonah 1:10 AV
Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
It was not of their own doing, but these hardened sailors had a reverence for the situation addressing the issue accordingly and going to the source of their dire circumstance.
And it can and should be towards God.
Psalm 111:10 AV
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
I like the reference someone drew from C.S. Lewis’, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe:
In this allegorical story Susan and Lucy were getting ready to meet Aslan the Lion. They were preparing with the help of two talking animals, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver.
Finding out Aslan is a lion Susan responds, “Oh, I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
Mrs. Beaver replies, “That you will, dearie, and make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
Lucy then asks, “Then isn’t he safe?”
“Safe?” replies Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king. I tell you!”
We need this healthy level of fear, for it protects us and puts us on the right track to make wise decisions.
Hence the result of a reverence or “fear” of the Lord bringing wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10 AV
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
I brought with me today a nine volt battery. Who would like to put their tongue across the top? No one? why? You have learned to respect or “fear” its power. It is not very pleasant feeling.
When a sparky works with electricity they are very alert and aware to the power it has, and therefore learn to respect it and take the proper precautions to avoid feeling its power course through their bodies.
When we notice the temperature is pushing the upper 30s to 40s we take precautions. We have a respect or “fear” for the power of the sun and take the needed steps to ensure we are protected.
Most of us would say we have a respect or fear of sharp knives. As we use them we are well aware of the power that is at the end of the blade.
Personally I have a very deep respect or “fear” for strong waves and deep water. I will admit this fear is heightened by the fact that I have not learned how to swim properly. When I am around water I take the proper steps to ensure that I am safe. When I am on the boat with Brad in the Murray I wear a vest that fits and is guaranteed to do its job. Last week when we visited the Surfers Beach in Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula I was on high alert to ensure my children and I were not close to the breaking waves because of the tremendous power they have in pulling you out to sea.
A healthy level of fear does not hinder, but equips and alerts us to things that need careful attention. It helps guide us to making wise decisions.
But then you ask...

What is an Unhealthy Level of Fear?

There are two sides to an unhealthy level of fear.
On one side you become overwhelmed with thoughts of “what if...” accompanied by the assumption of catastrophic results. (Haddow, Catherine. (2017). Emotions: Mirrors of the Heart. (pg. 81). 10Publishing. Leyland, England) This unhealthy level is where many phobias our found.
On the other side you have absolutely no fear, which is a very dangerous place to be for there is no means of protection, no discernment of any kind.
An unhealthy level of fear hinders our abilities to deal with issues and handle them constructively. It affects our quality of life and can lead us to choose to do those things we shouldn’t do causing us and those around us undue harm. It clouds our thinking and leads us to underestimate or overestimate our ability to cope or underestimate or overestimate the likely danger.
Catherine Haddow, the author of Emotions: Mirrors of the Heart, whom we have quoted before says this unhealthy level of fear can be describe with the acronym:
(F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal
An unhealthy level of fear is the root to cowardice, leading you to make unwise and wrong decisions.
John 12:42–43 AV
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Matthew 26:56 AV
But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Unhealthy levels of fear can create overconfidence.
Genesis 11:4–6 AV
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Both unhealthy levels affect our quality of life and paving the way for us to make unwise decisions.
Abraham was plagued by unhealthy fear leading him to make the choice to lie about his wife, twice. Once being in Egypt:
Genesis 12:11–13 AV
And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Jacob struggled with it. He and his mother knew the promise that through Jacob the Abrahamic covenant would be fulfilled, but an unhealthy level of fear about the missing the blessing due to Isaac’s love for Esau led them to make the wrong choice to deceive Esau and Isaac.
Genesis 27:6–8 AV
And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
While in the wilderness the nation of Israel became overwhelmed with an unhealthy level of fear time and time again, leading them to murmur time and time again, and make bad choice after bad choice.
Numbers 21:5 AV
And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
I have struggled with unhealthy fear, which has led me to make unwise choices. Whether it was to lie because of potential consequences or avoid meeting with someone who I should have met with because I had drawn catastrophic conclusions.
Just the other day my family and I were listening to the Keys for Kids devotional for our family Bible time and they shared a story about a boy who was going to respond to a dare of climbing a fence that surrounded a power transformer. When I friend drew attention to the danger signs posted he responded that they were just their to keep out scaredy-cats. He had an unhealthy level of fear making it plausible for him to do something that had the potential to cause him unnecessary harm.
Psalm 36:1–2 AV
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
So we know that fear is meant to be something good, it was given to us as a means to heighten our awareness of our surroundings so that we might make wise decisions, yet because of the disease that plagues our lives, called the sin nature, that God given emotion has been either heightened or lowered to unhealthy levels paving the way to make very unwise decisions.
So the question we all ask is...

How do we overcome , how do we experience healing?

Through Psalm 55 I believe David provides us guidance with how to overcome the heightened unhealthy level of fear.
In my Thompson Chain Reference Bible I use at home this Psalm is given the subject title “David complains of his fearful case”, and in my Bible before me the subject title reads, “The plea of the fearful”.
It is speculated that this Psalm arose out of Ahithophel’s betrayal, though it could have been during one his many other trying times. David is overwhelmed with fear, he is deathly afraid.
Psalm 55:4–5 AV
My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
He was in a dreadful place, this person whom he considered a dear friend had turned against him and was seeking to kill him.
Psalm 55:12–14 AV
For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
And all David wanted to do was run.
Psalm 55:6–8 AV
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
Yet what allowed him to face his fears and approach this challenging task with wisdom, mercy, and grace time and time again was his decision to turn his gaze upward to God and depend upon His promises.
Psalm 55:16–18 AV
As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
Through out His Word God challenges us to give Him the chance to prove He can be trusted, and that you can depend upon Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 AV
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Luke 11:9 AV
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
James 1:5 AV
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
When Gideon was asked to lead the army against the Midianites in Judges 6, he was scared out of his mind. Gideon turned to God and asked God to prove He could be trusted.
Judges 6:36–37 AV
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
God answered proving to Gideon that was dependable.
Judges 6:38 AV
And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
The only issue I find is that Gideon decided to test God a second time, but I cannot be to hard on him for I am guilty of the same thing. It is part of being a broken human. Yet God proved Himself faithful once again and graciously responded to Gideon’s second test.
Judges 6:40 AV
And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Our Creator can be trusted. In Him is the courage and strength we need.
Turn to Him and let Him prove He is true.
Philippians 4:6–7 AV
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Let yourself be consumed with His magnificent love for perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18 AV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Trust Him and submit to His plan.
Joshua 1:7–9 AV
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
For those who find themselves over confident due to a low unhealthy level of fear listen to the warnings around you. Learn from Joshua’s mistake at Ai in Joshua 7.
Though there was the issue of Achan’s sin, you can’t help but see Joshua’s over confidence shine through. If Joshua had approached Ai with the same heart attitude of Jericho God would have revealed to him Achan’s sin and given him the proper direction to defeat the city without any loss of Israeli life. Yet Joshua approached that second campaign battle with an unhealthy low level of fear and suffered the consequence.
Joshua 7:3–4 AV
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
Once Joshua returned to that healthy level of fear he addressed the situation with wisdom, and came through victorious. He learned, how be it the hard way, to trust the Great Physician and submit to His plan.
Having absolutely no fear is very dangerous, and so learn to heed the warnings put before you.
Trust the Great Physician and submit to His plan.
Proverbs 1:8–9 AV
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.


From a Biblical position it is a good thing to be aware and give ear to our fears, but because of sin we struggle with unhealthy levels of fear. Some have no fear, while others have an over abundance of fear. The call to all of us to experience the healing power of the Great Physician here and now is to trust Him and submit to His plan.
Psalm 119:165 AV
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Jeremiah 29:11 AV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Learn to turn your gaze upward and let God prove to you that He is trustworthy and overcome that fear, and learn to heed the warnings given that you may avoid unnecessary harm.
It’s complicated, but you can live an emotionally healthy life.
James 3:17 AV
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
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