Today’s lesson focuses on believers placing confidence in Christ Jesus our LORD.
Handout: Fear Not
I recently read a story about a village that lay at the foot of a beautiful mountain, but for generations, parents warned their children not to go near the top of this mountain. Parents warned this because a monster lived there. All the previous generations had heeded this warning and stayed away, but one day some brave young men decided that they would go and see this monster. They wanted to see what it was really like and to defeat it. So they packed supplies that they would need and set off on their journey up the mountain. Halfway up, they were stopped in their tracks by a huge roar and a terrible stench. Half the young men ran down the mountain screaming.
The other half of the group continued on their journey. As they got further up the mountain, they noticed that the monster was smaller than they had expected but it continued to roar loudly and emit such a stench that all but one young man ran back down the mountain.
This young man determined in his mind that he was going to defeat the monster as he took another step toward the monster. As he stepped forward, the monster got smaller with each step until it was the same size of a man. The young man kept stepping closer to the monster and each time it would shrink but continued to emit the stench and was hideously ugly. The young man got so close to the monster now that he could actually pick it up and hold it in the palm of his hand, it had gotten so small. As he looked at it, he said to the monster. “Who are you?” The monster replied in a tiny, high-pitched voice, “my name is Fear.”
That is how fear works. It seems so big and horrible, overwhelming until you confront it. The more you confront it, the smaller it becomes until one day you will find that the things you use to be the most frightened of were really nothing at all.
Several places in God’s word, we find where the Lord says to his children, Fear Not. Here are a few.
Genesis 15:1 The Lord tells Abram Fear not Abram, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Genesis 21:17 God sends the angel to Hagar after she cried out to God because her son was dying and the angel says fear not: for God hath heard the voce of the lad where he is.
Many times God tells Joshua fear not or don’t be afraid.
Joshua 1:9 “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.”
There are many more scriptures where the Lord tells us to Fear Not. Does he mean that we shouldn’t feel fear? No, we in this human flesh will feel fear, but what God wants is for us to not let fear stop or rule us. Put your confidence in me (The LORD) for I am with you always. God does not give us a spirit of fear, it comes from satan.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, wherby we cry, Abba Father.
Haggai 2:5 “so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.”
God understands that we as human beings, sometimes feel fear, but He expects us to trust Him and obey His voice. We can do things in spite of our feelings. Following our emotions and feelings will a lot of times get us into trouble. Sometimes we just have to do things afraid. God will always work it out every time when we trust and obey Him.
Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
2. Stop and think for a moment. What makes you feel confident? What makes you feel good about yourself? Is it your appearance? Wealth? Your Education? There are nothing wrong with these things, but we must not let them be where our confidence lies. They are things that will pass away. There are a lot of people today teaching that we as human beings should have confidence in ourselves. This is wrong. We cannot put confidence in this flesh because the flesh is against the things of God. If we put confidence in ourselves alone, we will fall every time.
John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.”
Romans 8:4 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the spirit.”
Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
What is Confidence? Confidence is full trust or belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of someone or something. Therefore, if the flesh is weak, and God’s word says it is, how can we put confidence in ourselves alone?
Matthew 14:38 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”
Why would we want to be confident in ourselves fully trusting in what we can do when Jesus said apart from Him we can do nothing.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth froth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Proverbs 25:19 “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”
It has been said that true confidence is all about being positive concerning what one can do, not worrying about what one cannot do. Knowing that we can do nothing apart from Christ, we see that we must place our confidence in Him and in the Holy Spirit working through us. The Holy Spirit is what empowers us to do what God wants for us to do in order to please Him. We can have confidence in life daily through Christ Jesus and Fear Not. Hallelujah!
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
3. Christ wants us to live confidently in Him and not of ourselves alone.
Proverbs 3:26 “For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”
Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Psalm 118:9 “ It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
Confidence through Christ, allows us to obey the Father and do as he leads us to do knowing that we have the empowerment and the tools inside us through the Holy Spirit to accomplish the task He has laid out before us. We can live in peace without fear of making mistakes. We will make mistakes, but God will help us correct them and continue on until we are victors. Praise Him.
Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:”
When our confidence is in the LORD, we will keep trying even if we mess up knowing that we will overcome and reap in due season if we don’t give up, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
4. Confidence and complete trust does not just come naturally to us. However, it does develop as we take steps of faith and experience how faithful our Father is.
1Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How do we gain confidence through Christ? We just walk in the spirit and keep open communication with the Father. Relationship with God is so important. We must make time everyday to spend time with Him. Just as we do for our families, so much more we should make time for God. We must talk to Him, even though he knows our thoughts and our hearts, still it is good for us to talk to Him and tell him about them. Talk to Him as if you would talk to a friend sitting next to you. We do not have to say big wordy prayers for God to hear us. He hears our sincerity and we can be comfortable telling Him anything and everything that we are facing or thinking or trying to achieve or overcome.
Second, we must keep ourselves in his word. Studying and knowing God’s word, placing it in our hearts gives us confidence because we then know what we are empowered to do. What a treasure we have in the word of God.
Thirdly, we must trust the Lord and move as he prompts. He will never lead you into something that He cannot get you through or out of. Yes we can walk through life happy and peaceful. We can wake up every morning with confidence knowing the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we can believe something good will happen. What a wonderful Father we have. We do not have to be afraid of anything the devil throws in our paths. We are protected and covered by the blood of JESUS and nothing can separate us from his love and in that we have all the confidence we will ever need and more, and in that we can live our lives and Fear Not, because perfect love casts out all fear.
Romans 8:38 “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angel, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth , nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our LORD.”
1John 4:18 “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.”
How worthy You are to be praised. There is no other like You nor will there ever be. We worship You Father. We come to You today in the name of Jesus. We thank You for making a way for us to live confidently in You. We thank you that we do not have to live our lives in fear. We know that you are our protector, our leader and guide. Thank You for knowing what we need and supplying those needs. Thank You for always doing what is best for us. Help us to always step out in faith, ever trusting You, and doing as You bid. Help us to live the abundant life that you planned for us to and help us to Fear Not. Thank You for loving us and for making a way for us to have relationship with You individually. We will ever love and praise you. In Jesus name we pray…AMEN.
(June 21, 2015)