Fighting Your Fears

(modified from the book "Slaying the Giants in your Life" by David Jeremiah 2001 by David Jeremiah)

Introduction

All of us face fear in different times in our lives. Fear is the feeling or condition of being afraid. It is a distressing emotion caused by potential danger, evil, pain, etc. God has given us the emotion of fear to help us so that we could be wise enough to protect ourselves from the unexpected. Fear provides us with a sudden burst of strength and speed just when we need it. It's a basic survival instinct, a good thing as long as it remains rational.  But our thoughts can become irrational and we end up being trapped by unjustified fears that can handicap us so we can not live a full and complete life that God has intended for us. What are some of the things that make you afraid? To just name a few examples, it could be fear of failure, the dark, heights, changes, loss of loved ones, poverty, of being criticized sickness and death.

As believers in a good, power and loving God who is concerned for His children how is it the we sometimes still have times of fear? Why is it we can not have faith in God so that we are not afraid. The disciples of Jesus as they walked with God in human flesh still were fearful of storms, of crowds, of poverty of armies of the loss of their leader. They let fear get the better of them (see Matthew 14:22-33).  For this lesson, I would like to look at this topic of fear and its relationship between fear and faith in the life of Christians.

As you go through this lesson, read the verses in the Bible to help you find the answers. Try reading the verses first in a Bible in your own language (Chinese) and then in an English version and writing down any questions you would like to ask later and   answers to these questions that follow.

Note: The Bible verse references below are linked to an English version of the Bible. If you would like to follow the Bible verse link, it would be good to "right click" on the Bible verse link and choose to open in new window  resized the window so that you can quickly go back and forth from this page to the verses.

Bible  Study of God's Word

Food for thought

Has past failures in your life or in the lives of others ever made you afraid to try to do something? Have these made you afraid to try again?

  1. Example of the effects of fear

Read Deuteronomy 1:19-33 and then consider the following questions.

Background information

About the year 2,000 BC God gave a man named Abraham a promise that he would become the father of a great nation and promised him that this nation would be the land the at the time of Abraham was called Canaan (Genesis 17:1-8). Today it is the country of Israel.

Approximately 500 hand passed and Abraham's descendants (now called Israelites) had just been freed from slaver in the country of Egypt and God had promise them that now He would lead them to the promised the land the land that would finally become their own. God promised that He would help them conquer the land of Canaan.  They are approaching Canaan from the south and have stopped at Kadesh Barnea to prepare for there advance into the promised land. This is not the first time that the Israelites were at Kadesh Barnea preparing to attack and conquer the land. Forty years earlier their fathers were asked to go in and conquer the land but they fail because of fear and lack of faith in God (Numbers 13:17-14:45). Now Moses their leader is reminding the next generation of what happed to their fathers 40 years earlier. What we are reading in these verses is a summary by their leader Moses of how the fear of their fathers 40 years earlier had resulted in suffering and hardship. He is challenging them not to let fear to do the same thing in their lives as it did to their fathers. 

Vocabulary Helps

Horeb (v. 19) - is another name for Mount Sinai in the desert were God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

Amorites (vv. 19) - are one of the treble nations that ruled a part of the promised land that God had promised Israel.

Aakites (v. 28) - are a race of people who where known to be very tall (see also 1 Samuel 17:4-7).

  1. Principles we can learn

 

  1. In Deuteronomy 1:19-21 the people are reminded that before God had giving a clear command and a promise. What was God's plan for them? Why did they they disobey and not follow God's plan for their lives (Deut. 1:26-29)?
What promises have God giving a Christian, a child of God, to help them with their fears (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15)? Are you using these promises or has fear caused you to ignore His promises and plans for your life?

What is the first principle about fear and faith that we can learn from these verses?

  1. In verse 1:26 we have another result of fear. What is this result?  What does the Bible call this (James 4:17)? What is another principle we can learn from these verses?
  1. In verses 27-28, what was the result of their fear? How did it effect their attitudes? (see also the original response in Numbers 13:32-33). What is another principle we can learn from these verses?

  1. In verses 27-28 we see something else that fear can do. What is this? What is another principle we can learn from these verses?

     

  2. What do we learn from verses 29-33 about fear? What is another principle we can learn from these verses?
  1. Steps to Deal with the giant of fear in our life

     

    1. What lesson do we learn from Psalm 139:23-24; Philippians 4:6-7and Esther 4:10-16? How would you summarize the first step we need to take to deal with our fear?
  1. What can we learn from Psalm 32:3-5? Summarize what the second step we need to take to deal with our fears?

     

  2. What does Psalm 34:4 suggest to us as the third step we should take to deal with our fears?

    Try some of these promises in God's word.

    Deuteronomy 31:6

    Psalm 27:1

    Psalm 118:6

    Proverbs 3:25-26

    Proverbs 29:25

    Isaiah 41:10

     

In our example above about how the message of 10 of the spies cause Israel to become fearful to conquer the land. But there were two others spies who came back with an encouraging message they were Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 13:30; 32:7-12).

  1. What can we learn from the example of Caleb and Joshua about the source of their courage and lack of fear (note Numbers 32:12)? See also Joshua 14:6-15. Here is another passage that can be helpful. What can we learn from 1 John 4:18-19? How would you summarize the fourth step in conquering fear?

     

There is one fear that is common to all people and that is the fear of death. The apostle Paul when he was in prison in Roman for preaching the gospel was facing a trial that could lead to his death. What was he feeling at this time? Was he afraid, anxious, discourage? We know because at this time he wrote a letter to his friends in the city of Philippi in Greece. This is what he wrote. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die gain." (Philippians 1:21 NIV)

  1. What then is the source of overcoming our fear of death Hebrews 2:14-15?