Hudson View Baptist Church
Controlling Fear, Anxiety, & Worry
January 6, 2021

Controlling Fear, Anxiety, & Worry

January 6, 2021

Controlling Fear, Worry, & Anxiety

Isaiah 8:12-14 …neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary…

I. Biblical Definitions: Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

  • fear is believing something to be more dangerous and powerful than God.
  • Worry is thinking on that which you fear with the primary purpose of avoiding pain vs. discerning the will of God.
  • Anxiety is the emotional and physiological result of .
  • Deal with what you fear above God, and you will deal with the beginning of worry and anxiety (Ps 111:10).

 

II. Fear Can Be

A. When it promotes a right response to real danger (Prov 22:3)

B. When it results in a for God that controls all of our decisions (Ecc 12:13)

C. When it results in producing wisdom and sound thinking (Prov 1:7 says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.)

*What is “fear of God?”

-To live in a constant awareness of the existence, attributes, and glories of God (His sovereignty, His goodness, His wisdom, and His holiness, etc.) to the point that His reality controls and directs my actions, words, thoughts, and motives in all of my circumstances, responsibilities, and relationships.

-My comprehension of God restrains me from doing evil and constrains me to do good in any situation, no matter what is happening. The glories of God both confront and me!

 

III. Fear Can Be Perverted. What Do We Fear Above God? (Deut. 6:13-15; 1 Sam. 12:24)

A. The Fear of

  • We fear man more than we fear God (Prov 29:25).
  • This causes us to idolize man in the place of God.
  • We become slavishly controlled by people at times as if they were God.

1. When we believe people can do more to us or for us than God

2. When we shrink back from standing for Christ or Christian principles

3. When we choose to obey man rather than God’s

4. When our thoughts and feelings are controlled by the approval of certain others so that we act sinfully

5. When we differently in the presence of those we highly esteem

6. When we do very foolish (and possibly dangerous) things to gain something from someone

7. When we believe we need others, or others need us, or when we “need” to be needed and our actions and emotions show it

8. When we use fear of man to intimidate, manipulate, control, or to get our own way

9. When we are easily manipulated by others and then are unable to say, “no,” because, to us, “people are big and God is small”

  • These “fear of man” symptoms are often labeled by psychology as the following: codependency, peer-pressure, low self-esteem, boundary issues, people-pleasing, or enabling. Such labels can lead to explanations that do not deal with the root issue, and these labels often lead to very unbiblical solutions.
  • Yet how is pride actually at the deepest of such symptoms?
    • Can you see how the desire to gain more for yourself, and the desire to feel better about yourself, is the source of “fear of man” symptoms?
  • Bottom line: We must learn to fear people less and love people more, by fearing people less and fearing God more!
  • Ponder: What am I that shows that I am being controlled by the “fear of man?”
    • What do I believe about God that makes it irrational to fear this person so much? (Get biblical!)

B. The Fear of

(This includes the fear of suffering, sickness, loss, pain, separation, lack of

provisions, etc.; Heb 2:14-15.)

  • We fear death more than we fear God who is over death and calamity (Lam 3:38).
  • This causes us to make of that which we believe offers us protection and provision in the place of God.
  • We become slavishly controlled by those things as if they were God!
  1. Such fear makes us slaves of something other than God and leads to disobedience (Mt 6:19-21).
  2. Such fear focuses on the future’s instead of yesterday’s blessings and today’s responsibilities (Mt 6:30-34).
  3. Such fear and worry helps nothing, but actually promotes death, suffering, and loss (Mt 6:27).
  4. There is only one Being in the universe who has no needs and no vulnerabilities. Only through a right relationship with and focus on Him can we have future assurance (Mt 6:33).
  5. Such fear prevents us from fulfilling God-given responsibilities (Lk 19:12-27).
  6. Such fear causes unsound and undisciplined (2 Tim 1:7).
  • These “fear of death” symptoms are often labeled by secular psychology as “phobias,” and the counselor often will focus on reducing the fear of death (i.e. pain, suffering, etc.). Yet the fear of death is not the problem, but rather, the problem is a lack of rightly fearing God.
  • These fears cause us to want to be like God (self-sufficient, no vulnerabilities, absolute control of events, etc.), instead of being content to fear and trust God (this is pride!).
  • Ponder: What am I doing that shows that I am being controlled by the “fear of death?”
  • Apply: What do I believe about God that makes it irrational to be controlled by the fear death (i.e. suffering, sickness, loss, pain, separation, lack of provisions, etc.)?

is

Believing the Word of God and,

Acting upon it,

No matter how I feel,

Knowing that God promises

A good result.

*Taken from Tim Bryant and the Low Country Biblical Counseling Center

 

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