Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 1) - Fear (Part A)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
Fear, Anxiety, and Panic (Part 1) - Fear (Part A) I. Definitions 1. Fear n. - 1. In OE.: A sudden and terrible event; peril. 2. a. The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil. 3. This emotion viewed with regard to an object; the state of fearing (something). 2. Fear v. - II. To feel fear; to regard with fear. 3. refl. (cf. 1b) To be afraid. 5. trans. To regard with fear, be afraid of (a person or thing as a source of danger, an anticipated event or state of things as painful or evil). 3. Afraid adj. - 1. As pple. Alarmed, frightened; hence as adj., In a state of fear or apprehension, moved or actuated by fear. II. Fear 1. Normal and good fear A. There is normal fear that is experienced when something frightening happens. i. This emotion of fear has been given to us by God for self-preservation. ii. When we become afraid, physiological things happen to our body to prepare us for “fight or flight.” a. “People often refer to the physiological changes that occur when a person experiences fear as the fight-or-flight response. Overall, as the name suggests, the changes prepare the animal to either fight or run. “Breathing rate increases, heart rate follows suit, peripheral blood vessels — in the skin, for instance — constrict, central blood vessels around vital organs dilate to flood them with oxygen and nutrients, and muscles are pumped with blood, ready to react. “Muscles — including those at the base of each hair — also become tighter, causing piloerection, which is colloquially called goosebumps. When a human’s hair stands on end, it makes little difference to their appearance, but for more hirsute animals, it makes them seem larger and more formidable. “Metabolically, levels of glucose in the blood spike, providing a ready store of energy if the need for action arises. Similarly, levels of calcium and white blood cells in the bloodstream see an increase.” (Dissecting terror: How does fear work?, Medical News Today, 10-30-2021) 2. Other good fears i. Fear of judgment and punishment for doing evil is a good thing which keeps us from sinning (Pro 14:16; Pro 3:7; Pro 22:3; Psa 119:120). a. God has instituted powers (both civil and religious) for the punishment of evildoers (1Pe 2:14; Rom 13:1-3). b. We should fear doing evil (Rom 13:4). ii. We should fear God because of His unlimited power (Rev 19:6), presence (Pro 15:3), knowledge (Psa 139:1-6, 14), intellect (Psa 147:5), and judgment of sin (Heb 10:26-27, 30-31; Heb 12:28-29; 2Co 5:10-11). 3. Unhealthy and sinful fear A. The Bible says “fear not” 62 times, “fear ye not” 8 times, “fear them not” 4 times, “be not afraid” 28 times, “neither be afraid” 3 times, “nor be afraid” twice, “be not ye afraid” once, and “be not terrified” once. i. That is at least 109 times in which God tells us to not fear. ii. When synonyms of fear and anxiety are included, the number is even higher. B. The following fears are unhealth and sinful. i. Fear of man (Pro 29:25; Mat 10:28; Isa 51:7; Psa 118:6; Php 1:28). ii. Fear of death (Heb 2:15). iii. Fear of loss of possessions (Heb 13:5-6). iv. Fear of fear (Pro 3:25; Psa 91:5; 1Pe 3:14). a. Terror n. – 1. The state of being terrified or greatly frightened; intense fear, fright, or dread. b. Fear of fear is what causes people to fall into the cycle of nervous illness. v. Irrational and unfounded fear a. Irrational fear is fearing something that has no ability to harm you, is extremely unlikely to occur, or is simply a figment of one’s imagination. b. The wicked have irrational fear and flee when no man pursueth (Pro 28:1). (i) The Lord warned Israel that if they would not keep His word they would flee when no man pursued them (Lev 26:17). (ii) The Lord caused the Syrians to hear what they thought was the noise of an army, and they fled when there was no actual danger (2Ki 7:5-7). c. God can cause sinners to be in great fear where no fear is (Psa 53:4-5). (i) This happened during the Covid-19 scamdemic. (ii) People were terrified of a virus that had a very high survivability rate, especially among younger, healthy people. (iii) Because of fear, people wore masks, physically distanced themselves from others, stayed home from church, and took an insufficiently tested, worthless, and deadly “vaccine.” d. Moab was afraid and distressed because of Israel (Num 22:1-3). (i) Their fear was unfounded though because God had commanded Israel to not harm Moab (Deut 2:8-9). (ii) Balak the king of the Moabites assumed the worst and hired the false prophet Balaam to curse Israel (Num 22:4-6). (iii) Balaam ended up blessing Israel through the intervention of God. (iv) Balak got the opposite of what he wanted due to his unfounded fear. e. Through unfounded fear, Abraham assumed that Abimelech king of Gerar would kill him for his wife, so he lied and said Sarah was his sister (Gen 20:1-2, 10-11). (i) Through this act which was motivated by fear he almost caused the death of Abimelech who took Sarah to be his wife (Gen 20:3). (ii) Abraham and Sarah ended up being reproved by Abimelech and made to look foolish (Gen 20:9, 16). f. After the king of Ammon died, David decided to show kindness to the new king Hanun because his father had shown kindness to David (2Sa 10:1-2). (i) Hanun, because of unfounded fear, believed his paranoid princes who thought David sent his men to spy out their city and overthrow it (2Sa 10:3). (ii) Hanun took David’s servants and humiliated them by shaving off one half of their beards and cutting off their garments at their butts (2Sa 10:4). (iii) This ended up causing a war which Ammon lost (2Sa 10:14). g. King Jeroboam through unfounded fear convinced himself that if he let his northern kingdom of Israel go to sacrifice at Jerusalem that they would return to King Rehoboam and kill him (1Ki 12:27). (i) Consequently, he then sinned and made two golden calve idols and put them in Bethel and Dan for the people to worship (1Ki 12:28-30). (ii) His fear was unfounded because God had promised to be with him if he would have kept His commandments (1Ki 11:35-38).
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