Victory Over Fear– Dr. Charles Stanley

[Music] while all of us have to learned to deal with fear in our life and if you’ll think about it we live in a very fearful time in history and we live in a society that’s full of fear people are fearing about losing their job their home their health their family their friends their position you name it lots of things around us that cause fear and in spite of all that God’s people not to live in fear and so somebody says well I got lots of reasons to be afraid well I would never question that but how are we to live in the society and somebody says well why don’t we get there how do we get in this position the first place well I was just asking myself that question thinking about what I found in the book of Ecclesiastes and the past is just that one verse of scripture in fact this sort of sums it all up of how we got where we are while this fear the simple reason we have violated a very clear principle of Scripture which says listen to this at the end of the ecclesiastic the 13th verse the conclusion when all has been heard is fear God keep his Commandments because this applies to every person and we’ve decided not to do that we’ve decided we can live the way we want to live and we’re going to ignore the principles and the Word of God and as a result of that what happens we’re nation full of fear and we fear many things we should not have to be theron and if you watch the news you can stir up enough fear very easily and so the question is how does a believer live in a fearful generation at a fearful time in life and at the same time be the kind of person God wants us to be so I want you to turn if you will to Isaiah chapter 41 and for me personally this is the most powerful verse in the Word of God when it comes to fear because of the awesome promise here and this isn’t on land or on the line in your Bible you suddenly ought to and what I’ve discovered is if I put a date down by something that God has said to me then it’s a reminder of me that he’s interested that he cares and he’s involved in my life so look at this tenth verse of the 41st chapter of Isaiah do not fear for I am with you do not anxiously look about you for I am your God I will strengthen you I will help you surely I will have hold you with my righteous right hand and then of course he says behold all those her anger that you will be ashamed in Dishonored and those who contend with you will be as nothing in my parish you will seek those who quarrel with you but you will not find them and those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent for I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand who says to you do not fear I will help you and I can remember the time in my life when I was going through a real big time test and I came to this verse it says behold all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored and those who contend with you will be as nothing in repair –is– you will seek them those who quarrel with you but will not find them and the before long I thought to myself Oh Lord that’s a reality because they’re all gone all of my Indians were gone and so sometimes what happens is this we linked your own things that God takes care of because we forget that he means exactly what he says and so when you come to this tenth verse whatever you’re afraid of this verse itself ought to say something powerful in your life if you’ll think about it the first recorded conversation that God and Adam had was Adam said I was afraid that’s his first words in his conversation with God and the truth is that man has been afraid ever since so when we think about fear how would you decide you describe fear so what I’d like to do is give you foundation a simple definition and I want to give you a time enough to write it down because we need to understand what we are feeling it is an uneasy feeling it is sort of a feeling of dread it is a feeling of like an alarm going off within us warning us of something that is going to happen and it’s it’s it’s this feeling of being threatened to by something that maybe we can control or not control but I would just encourage you to just jot that down so the next time you feel a bit fear you you’ll think well this is what’s going on that many people who are afraid who don’t think they are they think they admit that they’re afraid of something is to be weak that’s not to be weak it’s to be wise if you’re afraid of something then be willing to deal with it now there is fear that’s bad fear there’s fear that’s good fear when the Bible says fear the Lord that means to reverence him to acknowledge him for who he is and to respect God is God holy righteous God the fear him does not mean to be afraid of but it means the reverence him in proverbs chapter 1 verse 7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom a reverence from him as God as a holy respect for him that is a fear that all of us should enjoy in life and should be experiencing but let’s think about why we get afraid why why are people afraid well they’re lots of reasons so listen I get them from home because if you can’t identify your theatre more than likely you won’t be able to handle it or one of the first things I’ve mentioned simply this that is that our fears whatever they are they don’t come from God Paul said to Timothy you remember what he said he says God has not given you the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind have you ever been so afraid you thought you could hardly move have you ever been so afraid that you didn’t know what to do next or how to handle the situation think about think about the cause of these fears well one of the reasons we have fears because we learned them very early in life they learn attitudes I can remember my mother saying don’t get close to the river you may fall in and drown now she was expressing her love but she what happened was in my little mind water is dangerous and so it took me a while before I ever get in the creek to learn how to swim so when the people teach us things early in life we think they’re insignificant but it’s parents for example being careful but listen our parents have ingrained some things in us that often times can be things that create fear then of course there’s her imagination one of the reasons we have physical imagination if you imagine and I heard ladies saying that long ago she came to the house John the church she said you know I didn’t I wish to watch on TV I thought I’d never join the church it’s too big and nobody would be friendly nobody went panties she had this imagination of what first that first marriage would be like she says I walked in here and I couldn’t get in good but because some of the people were welcoming me and so happy to see you why are you from so forth her imagination was about to keep away but our grandson who had been watching civil I want to go to First Baptist he coaxed her here she joined the second Sunday but suppose she let her imagination control then she still wouldn’t be a part of it your imagination is an awesome thing it’s a great creator or but it can get you in trouble if you’re not careful then of course there’s ignorance ignorance can cause us to be fearful I think about people for example who believe that you can be saved and lost and it’s amazing people they almost want to fight about it I think about this and I grew up and did understand that so when I say look here’s what the Word of God says that you’re saved by the grace of God he has atoned to your sin past present future and so it doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna send again but it means that he’s paid your sin debt in full and if you’ve sinned again he’s going to discipline you but think about every time you came to church and I preached on sin and I said to you you know if you don’t live a godly life and you don’t live a sinless life a sanctified life you’re gonna die and go to hell well thought you I wouldn’t even belong yeah I come from you know the church but it’s not true but when people are taught error it can create terrible fear in their life then of course the whole issue of doubt it listen if you live your doubt if you live your life doubting God you got a you got some reasons to be afraid if you doubt that he loves you if you doubt that he’s forgiven you if you’re confessing the same thing over and over and over again that you confess last year the year before that in two years before that then how can you have any freedom and liberty and peace and contentment in life if you’re afraid of God well somebody says was the holy yes he’s held it well that’s the reason to be afraid no no no it’s a reason to reverence him love him obey Him follow him that’s not a reason to be frightened by him he doesn’t want us to be frightened by him what did Jesus say over again fear not fear not fear not and he says that he’s not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind and so these fears in our life they have tremendous consequences in our life think about in this life if you’re fearful of something it divides your mind you can’t concentrate well on something if you if it beneath the surface of your emotions if you’re fearful that your husband’s gonna leave you you feel that your wife’s gonna leave you feel good that your kids don’t get on drugs in other words if there’s some continuing fear boiling and within you then it’s gonna divide your mind secondly it’s gonna stifle your ability to think and act as you should because dividing your mind you don’t think clearly as often as you should and so you begin to feel the consequences of it likewise it’s going to cause indecision because you’re gonna feel paralyzed oftentimes in making decisions and a procrastinator for example is a person who does not act for fear of not doing it perfectly are doing it adequate to suit them they may be they may be a very gifted person able to do many things but if they don’t think they can do it perfectly they don’t think so what happens then they procrastinate it’s like they’re paralyzed it doesn’t work then of course I think fear can enslave a person with a feeling of uncertainty if you listen if you live with it’s it’s one thing to walk up on a snake and be afraid it wisely and walk away it’s because that’s that’s an incident it happened yesterday at that moment in time it’s something else to be afraid of something that maybe you know what it is but it’s ongoing it’s continuous maybe the doctor said you’ve got nothing so or something happens to your son of your daughter it just hangs in there or something about your finances whatever there are many many things that can fit into that category but then just the fear just hangs in then it won’t go away how do you handle that it’s certainly gonna block your spiritual growth if a person is living in fear think about this you think about all that you know about God and then you’re living with this fear which is not of God and here’s God has a will for your life and you’re afraid to step out and there are many other people who have challenges in life who’ve been told they can’t do this or can’t do that and they disuse what’s seeming that is miraculous when somebody tells you you can’t do something they if you is God what do you want me to do he’s the one who decides how he’s equipped you and how he’s built you to do and most of us can probably do far more than we do if we would just trust him instead of thinking well here’s what we do we look at somebody else and say well I can’t do that God isn’t expect you to do that whatever he called you to do he’s calling you to do it to the degree called you to do it to fit his will purpose and plan for your life so he doesn’t expect us to try to measure up to someone else it’s when other people put their measurements on our life that we have a lack of confidence and become fearful the times and the truth is you and I will never be able to become the person God wants us to be or achieve the things God wants us to achieve as long as we’re afraid as long as fear dominates our life then we’re not gonna do it and so when we think about how all those things affect us I want us to think about our health for just a moment because fear is certainly going to affect health because there’s no question that our emotional being affects our whole body listen to some of these theories is linked to cardiovascular disease hypertension digestive disease headaches skin disorders also stress if a person is worried all the time and fearful about something it’s going to affect you it probably affects the way you eat what you eat how much you eat it affects whether you exercise or don’t exercise and so the whole system of our emotions isn’t just something that we feel and know up here but it affects our whole entire body that’s the power of our emotions now the question is how do we deal with it how do we deal with fears now listen carefully what I’m gonna say will seem real simple but didn’t everyone Jesus did he told parables he didn’t make things difficult I know this works there’s no doubt in my mind whether it works or not I wants to look at a passage of Scripture and I want us to look at it from the perspective if you’ll just think about it okay God here’s something I think I’m afraid of or whatever it might be I want you to think about dealing with it in this light and that is first of all to acknowledge its presence let’s say that you’re afraid of you’re afraid financially that you’re going to lose everything and there are people living right there whatever the fear is in your life whatever it might be first of all you acknowledge that it’s there and then what you need to do is to is to identify what’s it cause where’d that come from why am I afraid of that is it somebody something somebody built into your thought processes or is it something that you did then you are afraid of the consequence notice what’s the real source of it so here’s what I’m afraid of and-and-and-and here’s the source of it that’s two very important points the third one is this as once this careful as long as I focus on what that fear is it’s not going to get into smaller the longer I focus on it what happens the bigger part of my life it consumes the more it influences my decisions on my makeup whatever it might be so I’ve got to change my focus if I’m gonna get over it and free of it I’ve got to change my focus I’ve got to get it off of that and I got to get it on God and then here’s what I must do I must turn my focus immediately to the most powerful weapon listen to the most powerful weapon that I can have in time of fear and what is that it’s the Word of God now with that in mind I want you to turn back to Isaiah 41 and I want you to look at this in the light of who you are and what it is that you’re facing in life and what you may be fearful of look in Isaiah 41 now verse 10 because I look at this as an anchor that is whatever storm I may be facing when it comes to fear here’s my anchor right here listen to what he says verse 10 he says number one do not fear why I am with you who is I am that’s Jehovah God the sovereign creator of the universe who held heat the Bible says he’s established his throne the heavens and their sovereignty rules over everything so he says do not fear that is listen it’s one thing for somebody to tell you or don’t be afraid of that it’s something else for God to say do not fear why listen do not fear I am with you Jehovah God’s with me look at this do not anxious and look about you that’s one of the most important phrases in the whole Bible when it comes to overcoming anything do not anxiously look about you know I said that because he wants to get that focus on God as long as I focus on what I’m afraid of it gets larger and larger and more more important and more listen more detrimental do not anxious and look about you listen heed watch this do not anxious to look about you for I am your God not just your friend then you have I’m your God I’m the sovereign creator of the universe and I’m your God I’m your personal God then he says he says I will strengthen you how much strengthen is he have he’s omnipotent he says I will strengthen you surely I will help you then if it is surely therefore to say listen you can rest assure to this because I’m Who I am and because I love you because I am your God I am going to help you he says surely I will uphold you with my righteous hand it doesn’t make a difference what you face in life listen you’re in my hands I sovereign god of this universe you’re in my hands I will hold you up I will lift you I will strengthen you I’m your God you don’t have anything that can outmaneuver Almighty God I will uphold you with my righteous right hand now let me ask you a question do you believe that verse the scriptures say Amen was it true a couple of thousand years ago has it changed so it’s still the same right and it’s still the same God who made that promise right does God change doesn’t change so if he made that promise a couple of thousands of years ago watch this they don’t say anything if you don’t mean it don’t worry about what somebody beside you just don’t think oh he doesn’t believe that don’t you know that don’t say a word if you don’t believe it do you believe that what he said a couple of thousand years ago about facing our fears do you believe that what he says in that verse is still true if you really believe that said loudly all right that means that you accept this truth that your God has said that he is your God because you’ve trusted him through Jesus and that he will help you he will be with you he will uphold you he will strengthen you and he will uphold you with his righteous right hand is that true now is it true and if you believe is that true for you today so whatever you are facing you believe that the god of this universe has given you a personal promise I will uphold you strengthen you be with you I am I am your God do you believe he’s trustworthy enough to take that fear of yours whatever it might be and say lord I know this doesn’t belong in my life any longer and so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna take you to your word and now from this point on I’m gonna set my focus on you and I leave his fear down I’m laying it down on the basis of who you are what you said so here’s the question do you believe that God is who he says he is amen do you believe that God will do what he says he’ll do amen then you need not carry that fear and then long because watch this you know what this all boils down to it is a faith battle you see what you won a person is saying what you just said and agreeing what you just agree with the Word of God if you agree with that new man what you said then if you have a else about that listen does your doubt affect god no amen no it doesn’t change anything he said right if it doesn’t affect God that doesn’t change anything he said then do you have a reason to hold on to this fear when God has said you don’t have to I will uphold you with my righteous right hand which means whatever you’re facing in life sovereign god of this universe is gonna hold you safely and bring you through it no matter what amen no matter what well you may not be a Christian you say well does that work for me no it doesn’t work let me tell you why it doesn’t work because if you reject the Lord Jesus Christ who is their only Savior if you reject them as your Savior then you have rejected life in its best you have rejected eternal life you have rejected the love of God you have rejected his will his purpose his plan for your life you have rejected the best of life you listen you have rejected life as God Almighty intended for you you’ve got a lot to be afraid of because one of these days you’re gonna die and when you die here’s what the Bible says it is important than the man wants to die and after this the judgment you have lots of reasons to be afraid but you don’t have to if you willing to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins seriously you mean it asking him to forgive you not on the basis that you’re going to do all these things for him on the basis that when he went to the cross he paid your sin that it’s all he intended to take away these fears and give you a peace and an assurance and I confidence to face anything in life no matter what it is that’s who he is and the moment you trust him as your Savior all that you’ve heard can become reality in your life when you agree it’s better to live your life for God than the living in fear uncertainty doubt knowing that out there somewhere in the future you’re gonna face God and that all of you good works he’s already declared he it’s what he’s are declared this no matter what you do now good is there like filthy rags when it comes listen when it comes to saving of your sins your good works will never work that’s what he says and so I want to encourage you to trust him as your Savior Amen father how grateful we are for your awesome love for us and Lord we know that you know all about fear everything there is to know about it but you said my peace I give unto you not as the world gives give idea let not your heart be troubled let not your heart be fearful you believe in God believe also in me and we do and we thank you for it in Jesus name Amen [Music] you you

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