Crippling Fear

What are you anxious about? What do you fear? Anxiety is a huge tool of the enemy in this world, especially in America. Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, is at the top of the charts of America’s most prescribed drugs with 46.3 million prescriptions. That is roughly 14% of America’s population that is legally obtaining the leading anti-anxiety medication.   Among the top fears and causes of anxiety in America are, paying bills, commitment, marriage, transparent relationships, flying, heights, fear of death, public speaking, rejection, failure, fear of the dark, and intimacy. Why so much fear? Why so much anxiety? Why is fear so crippling? This is what I have come to see: without Jesus, everything is scary. There are forces and happenings that are completely outside of our control. What happens when things seems to be spinning wild? Without Jesus, you stand on your own. Without Jesus, your performance is what defines you. And what happens if you fail at your job, in school, or at your hobby? Without Jesus, death is a mystery. What happens if you die? Do you go to sleep? Do you automatically go to “heaven”? Without Jesus, being transparent with people is next to impossible. What if they find out who you truly are, what you truly struggle with, what if they meet your dark passenger? Fear is crippling because if we don’t live up -if we aren’t good enough- we know that things will fall apart. Without Jesus, there is not certainty in anything.

My hope is that if you are in Jesus– if you have come to trust in the gospel, the finished work of Jesus Christ in your place, to make you righteous and take away your sin to reconcile you to God the Father- you would be without fear. If you are in Jesus, fear not! Fear not is the most repeated command in the entire Bible. If you are in Jesus, you have a loving Father who has accepted you on behalf of his Son’s work for you. You are accepted. Your future is sealed. Your Father is faithful to you. The gospel destroys everything that you once had to fear! My hope is that if you are not in Jesus you would see that you stand alone, and that fear is your only companion. You stand alone and your performance is defining you. I hope you come to see that you will never be justified before God by your own performance, but only by Jesus’ perfect performance in your place. The call for you is to repent and believe the gospel0 the good news (Mark 1:14-15). The good news is that for those who come to Jesus, their performance doesn’t define them, but Jesus’ perfect performance does (Romans 3:23-25). The good news is that for those who come to Jesus, they don’t have to pay for their sin, but Jesus paid for it on the cross by becoming sin in their place (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14). For all those that would come to him through faith, Jesus has secured their eternal joy in reconciling them to the Father- God. Turn from setting your hope and faith on the fleeting pleasures of sin, and set your hope and faith on the righteous, sin-bearing, eternal pleasure and joy-giving, King, Jesus.

Doubt is Destroyed at the Cross

If anyone were to doubt that they are completely loved and will be provided for in Christ, they need just look to the cross. If God, being so holy and just, would not abandon us to torment, but instead sent his own Son to die a brutal, bloody, sin-paying, man-to-God reconciling death, then he must be committed to loving us and seeking our eternal good (Romans 8:31-32). If what seemed like the greatest tragedy in the entire history of the world (the cross of Jesus Christ) turned out to be for the greatest good of the world (reconciling sinful man and all of creation to God), then anything that is happening right now in your life can and will be worked out for good (Romans 8:28-30).

The Gospel and Fear (top fears in America exposed by the gospel)

Paying Bills
The gospel frees you from fearing being provided for. You know that in light of the cross, no matter what is going on or how hopeless it seems, God is working his divine plan for his great glory and your eternal joy in him.

Commitment, Intimate friendships, Marriage
The gospel frees you from fearing someone not liking you for who you are. God knows who you are, He knows on your own you’re evil at the best of times- Jesus lived for your righteousness, paid for your sin on the cross, and by his grace through faith he sends you the Holy Spirit to constantly set you free from the destructive worship of idols and yourself.

Flying, Heights, Death in general
The gospel frees you from fearing death, because you know that death is victory. Death means I get to see Jesus. Free from pain; free from sin; free from sorrow. In the presence of Jesus we will drink of his pleasures full.

Public Speaking, Rejection, Failure
The gospel frees you from the weight of pleasing people, because God is pleased with you through the work of Jesus and that’s all that matters.

Fear of the Dark, Fear of Intimacy
The gospel frees you from having to fear rejection or loneliness. Be- cause of Jesus, you are eternally reconciled and accepted by the Creator- GOD.

If you’re not in Jesus, fear! As you are you stand alone. Come to him through faith in what he’s done in your place to bring you back to God.

If you are in Jesus, fear not! “It is finished!” He has destroyed every reason to fear.

Scripture references

Mark 10:45
14  Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Romans 3:21-26
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Colossians 2:13-14
13  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Romans 8:31-32
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:28-30
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to all who are in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Brett Baggett