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How to Handle Your Fear | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2021 7:00 am

How to Handle Your Fear | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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December 20, 2021 7:00 am

In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals how to replace a destructive “spirit of fear” with a productive “spirit of faith.”

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Listen closely as Adrian Rogers shares a word with those who are experiencing a spirit of fear.

Am I afraid right now? Welcome to Love Worth Finding, featuring profound truth simply stated by Adrian Rogers. In part one of today's message, we began studying the apostle Paul's instruction to Timothy to show us how to handle fear. Fear caused Timothy to forget who he was in Christ, so Paul reminded him of how gifted he was and what God had done in him. Likewise, Pastor Rogers says, when we ought to succeed, many of us fail for one reason.

We've listened to that sinister minister of the devil rather than listening to God. If you have your Bible, turn now to 2 Timothy chapter 1 as Adrian Rogers shares part two of how to handle your fear. I want to talk to you today about how to handle your fear. Actually, not only how to handle your fear, but how to conquer fear.

But I don't want to tell you what Ann Landers has to say about it. I want to tell you about what God's Word has to say about overcoming fear and conquering fear and facing fear with faith and how to live a future free from the bondage of fear. All right, now in 2 Timothy chapter 1, beginning in verse 6, I read these words. Paul is speaking to Timothy and he says, Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. Now think about the destructive power of fear, the destructive power of the spirit of fear. I want you to notice three basic things that fear will do to anybody here. I'm talking about a spirit of fear, not productive fear, but I'm talking about destructive fear.

For example, notice what I'm going to call fear and forgetfulness. Notice in verse 6, the apostle Paul says to Timothy, Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. Now Timothy was a very gifted man, unusually equipped and anointed to do the work of God. He had a remarkable gift of God, but he failed to use it.

And why did he fail to use the gift that he had? He had forgotten it. Now, so the apostle Paul says, I put thee in remembrance. You've forgotten who you are. You have forgotten your ability. You have forgotten what God has done for you and what God wants to do through you.

Timothy, you're a very gifted man, but you've forgotten it. Now what caused him to forget it was this, his fear. You see, look if you will, and see how verses 6 and 7 are connected.

He says, Now wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For, now that little word for connects those two verses. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear. Now the idea is that fear had caused him to forget. When you focus on fear, then that takes all of the blue out of your sky. And you don't see, you don't understand who you are or what you can do. And that fear just causes you to forget all the blessings of God. Some of you are immensely gifted, tremendously blessed, but there's something you're afraid of.

And it has caused you to forget all of the blessings and the giftings of God in your life. Because you have focused on your fear rather than trusting in the Lord and focusing on the Lord. Now Timothy at this time didn't have much to be afraid of. If anybody had anything to be afraid of, it was Paul who wrote this. You know where Paul was when he wrote this? Paul was in prison.

Now look in verse 8. He says, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner. Now Paul was a prisoner of the Lord in the metaphorical sense in that he was a bond slave to the Lord Jesus.

But he was also a prisoner in the literal sense in that he was in prison. Paul was in prison when he wrote this, perhaps waiting to be executed. But Paul is not quaking.

Notice in verse 12, Paul says, For the which cause I also suffer these things. Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Paul said, I know whose I am. I know what I have committed to the Lord. I am in prison.

Yes, I am in prison. But look, it's all right. It's all right. Paul had not forgotten who God was and how great God was. Now, dear friend, Paul had his eyes focused on the Lord, and even though Paul is writing in prison, you can just feel the breath of heaven blowing through that prison. And if you're afraid today, if you're afraid today, I want to tell you, dear friend, that your fear, your fear is because you've forgotten who God is and what God has done for you.

Okay? Now let me move on and talk to you not only about fear and forgetfulness, verse 6, but also fear and failure, verse 8. Notice in verse 8, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me his prisoner? Now what had happened to Timothy was that Timothy had failed to share Christ, and he had failed to stand up for the apostle Paul.

Why? Paul was in prison, and Timothy was afraid of what might happen to him. And fear had shut his mouth, and fear had paralyzed him.

Did you know, dear friend, that when we ought to succeed, many of us fail for one reason. Because we've listened to that sinister minister of fear, the devil, rather than listening to God, and that fear has paralyzed us, no matter how gifted we are. Now, let me talk to you not only about fear and forgetfulness, where we just tend to forget who we are and the giftedness of God, and fear and failure that makes us ashamed and afraid to do what we could do and ought to do, but also fear and frailty. Did you know that fear can literally sicken us, weaken our bodies? Now you're in 2 Timothy.

Turn to 1 Timothy, chapter 5, and look in verse 23. Paul says to Timothy, drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. Here was a man who was sickly. Now, was he afraid because he was sickly?

Perhaps so. But I think it's more reasonable to say that he was sickly because he was afraid. I think he had a fearful disposition, and I believe that fearful disposition literally made him sick. Let me tell you what a well-known American internist, a doctor, said at a roundtable discussion on psychosomatic medicine. He said this, in spite of what they say, 90% of the chronic patients who see today's physicians have one common problem.

Their trouble did not start with a cough or chest pain or hyperacidity. In 90% of the cases, the first symptom was fear. Fear. Fear in your life is like sand in machinery. Faith in your life is like oil.

It lubricates life. Fear will do the same thing to you that sand will do the machinery. So, look, I've talked to you about fear and the destructive power of the spirit of fear.

Now, let me talk to you a little bit about the delivering power of the spirit of faith. Now, thank God that Paul doesn't just tell us the problem, but he gives us the answer, and he's giving Timothy the answer, but when he's giving Timothy the answer, he's also giving you the answer, for he says in verse 7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Now, here are the three elements that if you take them and put them in your life, these three things, power, love, a sound mind, you can have a future free from the bondage of fear. Now, when I say the bondage of fear, I'm not saying a future free from fear. I wouldn't want a future free from fear. I'm talking about productive fear.

Productive fear is good. Several years ago, our phone rang in the middle of the night. I answered the phone, and it was one of my son's roommates in college down in Texas, in Waco, Texas. He said, Mr. Rogers, isn't David supposed to be coming back to school today? And I said, well, yes, he left early this morning. He should have had plenty of time to be there. I would have thought he'd be there by 8 or 9 o'clock. It was after midnight. He said, well, Mr. Rogers, I just thought I ought to let you know he's not here. I got to thinking about that old Rattletrap car he was driving. It was a dark, stormy night.

You know all those things that go through a daddy's mind? I thought, well, maybe he's had a blowout. Maybe he's in a ditch. Maybe he's been robbed. Maybe he's been in a wreck. Maybe he's out of gas.

Maybe the car, what could have happened? He said, Mr. Rogers, do you have any idea where he is? I said, no, son, I don't. I said, please call me in an hour and let me know if he's in. Early morning he called back. I said, Mr. Rogers, he's not here. Hours before then he should have been there.

How are you going to find someone in hundreds of miles of road? What are you going to do? And I thought to myself as I felt that spirit of fear coming to me, Adrian, you preach to people. You've told them not to be afraid. You've told them that God's not giving us a spirit of fear, and you're afraid. Why doesn't your sermon work? So I said, well, I'll preach it to me again.

It still didn't work. All that fear was there. I said, am I a hypocrite?

Or have I been preaching something that is not true? Why? Why am I afraid right now? And I realized that the fear, as I analyzed it, was a legitimate fear, that God gave me a legitimate fear that says, all right, do something. Just don't go back to sleep if there is anything you can do.

Just do it. Well, in that case, there was nothing I could do or knew to do. I had to commit it to the Lord. Do you know what happened?

The numbskull had gone to Dallas, and in Dallas he met somebody who was looking for directions, and he's driving all over Dallas trying to help this man out to find his way, figuring Daddy wouldn't know whether he got there in time or not. Maybe Daddy didn't know it wouldn't hurt him, but Daddy did know. Now, I'm not talking about legitimate fear that will cause you to motivate you to do something that you ought to do to protect your loved ones and so forth. Now, there's a difference also between fear and worry. I realized also I'd begun to worry, and I said, Lord, I can't do that.

I just put that in your hands, and I did, and committed it to the Lord. I am talking to you, dear friend, about that nonproductive, negative spirit of fear. Do you know the difference between legitimate fear and a spirit of fear? Legitimate fear is like a thunderstorm. The lightning flashes, the thunder rolls, the water pours down, and then the storm passes, and the clouds roll back, and the sun shines again. But a spirit of fear is just a constant darkness, a drizzle, a fog.

You live in it. God has not given you that kind of a spirit. That's not productive. That's negative.

That's unreasonable. That does not help to make us what we ought to be. Now, dear friend, God gives us three things that will enable you to have a future free from the bondage of fear. First of all, God has endued us with power, with power. Now, notice, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power. Remember Jesus said, Ye shall be endued with power from on high?

The power that He's talking about is the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Now, do you know why we're afraid when we're afraid? We're afraid that we do not have the resources to meet our enemy. I mean, if we have a foe that we feel is bigger than we are, then we're afraid.

But if I understand that I have greater strength than my foe, then there's no need for me to be afraid. For example, when you were a little kid, if you walked home from school and there was a bully who picked on you, you might have been afraid to walk home from school. I remember I used to have this kid picked on me. This bully would pick on me, make me afraid, and every day this bully followed me home from school, just picking at me and picking at me. I was scared to death. One day I decided I'd had enough, and I turned around.

I told her, you leave me alone. In all seriousness, if you were walking home from school and there's somebody who was picking on you, but your daddy walks home from school with you, then you're no longer afraid. Because greater is he that is with you than that guy who's picking on you. Now listen, greater is he that is in you than he that's in the world. Greater is he that is in you. If you have the spirit of fear, it is because you have not focused on the Lord. You have forgotten the gift of God that is in you by whatever means God has come upon you and gifted you. So, dear friend, remember that God has given us the spirit of power.

Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. That's the reason the psalmist puts it this way, and I think this is such a beautiful psalm in Psalm 27 and verse 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

There's a lot of sense in that, isn't there? The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? You see, God has given us the spirit of power. That is, the Lord is the strength of my life. Now the fear of God, therefore, removes really all other fears. The man who can kneel before God can stand before any man.

Okay? Now, first of all, on your checklist here, am I remembering God's power shown to me? Do I know just how great my God is?

You need to glimpse at your problems and gaze at your God. The fear of man made Saul a coward. The fear of God made David a hero when he went against Goliath.

Okay? Now secondly, not only has God given us the spirit of power, but God has also given us the spirit of love. And love also is a mighty, mighty force to deal with fear. Now how does love deal with fear? Well, the Bible tells us very clearly in the scripture how love deals with fear in 1 John chapter 4 and verse 18. Now in 1 John chapter 4, verse 18, the Bible says, perfect love casteth out fear. Well, as I've told you before, that verse used to bother me.

It didn't help me much at all. I used to interpret that verse to mean that if I loved God perfectly, I wouldn't be afraid. I said, well, I don't do anything perfectly except sin. But that doesn't mean if I love God perfectly, I'll not be afraid. It literally means that I don't have to be afraid because God loves me perfectly. Now let me give it to you in the living Bible. Remember, the living Bible is a paraphrase, but here it, I think, amplifies beautifully what the scripture says in 1 John 4, verse 18. We have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly.

Do you see it? We have no need of fear of someone who loves us perfectly. His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us.

If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we're not fully convinced that he really loves us. Friend, when you see on the one hand God's mighty power and on the other hand God's mighty love, then fears seem to melt away, amen? God endues us with power. God enriches us with love.

Now, I just rest in that love. I say, Lord, no matter what happens to me, I know that I know that you love me and because you love me and because you're all powerful, all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. But there's one other thing that is necessary. Not only does God endue us with power and not only does God enrich us with love, but God enlightens us with a sound mind because God has not given us the spirit of fear but number one of power, number two of love, and number three of a sound mind. Now, this word sound mind literally means God has given us discipline or self-control or a discerning spirit, wise discretion.

That's what the word sound mind means. You see, so many of the things that we're afraid of, we're afraid of not on a basis of reality but because the deceiver has made us afraid. The motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says, Fear, F-E-A-R, is often false evidence appearing real. And indeed it is, and the devil so many times causes us to be afraid when there's nothing to be afraid of. You know the Bible says, The wicked flee when no man pursues. Have you ever been out at night and just got the idea someone was behind you? I used to feel that way when I was a little boy and my mom had me carry out the garbage way out to the back alley. It would be about 8 o'clock at night and it would be dark out there and all the way back to the house I had an idea somebody was chasing me.

I may have been. I didn't have any real basis for that fear. Now listen, God gives us a sound mind. That is this, that we're able to take these things and to look at them in the clear light of God's word.

And many times you have to take yourself by the nap of the neck and make yourself analyze these things. You see, we have to look past what might happen to us at the immediate moment and see that God is ultimately victorious. That's what Paul did in 1 Timothy 1, beginning in verse 12. He says, For the which cause I also suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Now Timothy, you're ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. I'm not ashamed.

Why? Because I know whom I have believed. I am persuaded that he's able to keep it. Now that's a sound mind, right?

That's a sound mind. He wasn't blown away by all of these things that the devil was doing. Now he had a commitment, a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was reading about a Japanese soldier during World War II, 1944, when the tide began to turn. This soldier was living on the island of Guam. And when the tide began to turn and he thought that the Japanese were going to lose, he deserted the Japanese army and holed up in a cave in the jungles of Guam. And for 28 years, this soldier stayed in that cave and he would only come out at night and he ate frogs and he ate rats and he ate shrimp that he could catch in puddles and he ate wild fruit, anything he could get his hands on. And for 28 years, he lived as a prisoner of his fear when the war was over.

We're driving Toyota's, watching Sony's, and taking vacations to Tokyo. And here's this guy living down there in fear because he doesn't know the war is over. Hey friend, I want to tell you the war is over and Jesus is one. It's finished.

It's finished. And he's offered amnesty and forgiveness when you all come home. The devil doesn't want you to know that. And so, do you know the reason that a lot of people don't come to God? They're afraid of God. And I'm not talking about a healthy fear of the Lord.

They just think negatively about God. Friend, the war is over and Jesus is victor and your sin has been paid for. And the devil doesn't want you to understand these things, but the apostle Paul says, Nevertheless, I know whom I have believed and I'm persuaded he's able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day.

Have you committed everything to him? Then don't be afraid. What a powerful and encouraging word from God's word today. And maybe today you have questions regarding your faith in Jesus. We'd love to offer an insightful resource on our website. It's our Find God's Love page. There you'll find answers you may need about your faith.

We have a response section. You can share how this message or others have made a difference in your life. We'd love to hear from you today. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab that says Find God's Love. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD. Request the title, How to Handle Your Fear. This message is also part of the insightful series, Getting a Handle on Your Emotions. For that complete collection, all eight powerful messages, call 877-LOVEGOD, or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio or write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. We're so glad you studied with us in God's Word today.

If you have been neutralized by a spirit of fear, remember that you have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You also have His perfect love lavished upon you. Adrian Rogers said, The man who can kneel before God can stand before anyone else. Thanks for listening, and we hope you'll join us next time for more from Adrian Rogers, right here on Love Worth Finding. I love the heart of this listener who reached out and said this, Adrian Rogers is the best preacher. His messages help me every day. They help me to study and learn the Bible. He has taught me to not be ashamed of Jesus and to share the love of Christ.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-07 13:07:26 / 2023-07-07 13:17:30 / 10

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