Scripture Text: 2 Timothy 1:7
1. I’m starting a new series today – and all six parts are going to break down just one scripture passage: 2 Timothy 1:7
a. Let’s look at it now.
2. We begin by talking about fear.
a. Tell me the things you’ve seen people be afraid of.
Write on newsprint
b. This may not work, but can you isolate one thing all these fears share/have in common? (Ideas?)
c. What if I said that all fears are essentially about losing something?
Psychologists define fear as an emotion – a signal from the brain that it senses a threat or danger.
1. But the threat or danger is that we’re about to lose something or have it taken away.
Experts say there are 5 major categories of fear:loss of life, loss of limb or health, loss of freedom, loss of someone else, loss of ourselves (ego).
3. Now, I think you’d agree that you aren’t afraid of something until you experience it personally.
a. Just like you learn a hot surface will burn you when you get a little too close; you learn to fear by having a traumatizing experience, going through a loss or being very disappointed.
And that’s something all of us have experienced. It’s a part of being human.
b. Our fear-inducing experiences have taken lots of forms, from scary but relatively harmless to deeply terrifying and scarring; from getting separated from your parents for a couple minutes in a crowded store or chased by a big dog, to living through a natural disaster or being physically and mentally abused by someone.
c. But here’s the thing, once you learn how to fear it can start to affect how you live, influence your decisions, even shape your identity.
You don’t want to lose the things that are important to you, and things trigger your fear so you can avoid that from happening.
4. Does the Bible have anything to say about fear?
a. If you look up all the times the word “fear” is in the Bible (437 to be exact) you get the feeling there are different kinds of fear, both good and bad.
Simply put, God wants you to hold onto the good and throw the bad overboard.
We’ll get into the difference in a couple weeks. Suffice to say the Greek word in this 2 Tim. verse is the bad one
b. What’s interesting is how Paul, in 2 Timothy, calls it a “spirit” – which I take to mean as something deep inside of us which is more than just instinct and brain chemistry.
The spirit of fear is something powerful, almost with a personality and will. And it goes underground, swept under the rug, not always easily seen or understood.
Yet from within it affects our actions,
emotions, decisions and relationships; coming to the point where it can control everything about us and become our identity.
c. God knows we need another spirit. And God gives it to us
2 Timothy 1:7…
John 14:27, Jesus says…
5. So our plan for this series is to acknowledge and understand what makes us afraid and how it controls us; and then discover the resources God gives in Christ: power, love and self-control.
a. I believe you will start to see a new identity for yourself: fearless.
You will see how it is part of
the package of knowing and following Jesus Christ, who said over and over,
“Be Not Afraid.”
b. As it says in Hebrews 13:6, to be able to say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not
6. There are a couple really good things you can start doing right away to prepare your insides for God’s truth about fear.
a. First, you can start to pay attention to what scares you: the situations, people, potential threats which seem to make you fear the most.
Lift the rug, find the nametags fear has given you.
b. Second, look up the verses which have the words “fear not” in Bible.
If you have an internet connection you can do this through an online Bible like Bible Gateway or an app like YouVersion which allows you to search the whole Bible.
If you don’t have internet, I’ve made a few handouts.
What is the consistent message the Bible has about fear? Is there good fear as well as bad fear? What’s the difference?
c. A famous quote is “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Well, God wants to eliminate that one for you too.