FEAR: It grips and paralyzes! Get set free!

I shall never forget the image of the airplanes hitting the towers in New York City on September 11th. I don’t think there is anyone who can forget it. The whole world watched in horror as “terrorists” made the statement, “America, you are not safe.” That attack intensified the fear in many. It is a fact that 80% of Americans are fearful of being a victim of terror or violence. What is a terrorist? Webster’s defines it as, “one who governs by terror or intimidation.” The word terror is defined as, “ intense overpowering fear!” That’s what the devil is, he is a terrorist!

My friend, fear is everywhere. It haunts the innocent in the night; I am constantly dealing with children who are afraid of the dark. Fear, trails us in airplanes, cars and public places. Lets face it since 9/11 we have a tendency to look around on an airplane; who’s that sitting next to me, that guy across the isle, he looks suspicious. Various people are suffering with panic attacks, anxiety and phobias such as fear of water or height. People are afraid of spiders, snakes or mice. I have a friend who is a big guy, if you saw him you would never believe that he is afraid of the smallest rodents, but he is! .

People fear suffering from sickness and a tremendous amount of people are afraid of dying. Everyone wants to see Jesus, but many of us are afraid to die.. I had a wonderful friend that was a healthy as they come. He really never had a sick day that I can recall. One day his doctor suggested he do a routine exam on him because he was over fifty. The results came back with traces of cancer. My big healthy, never sick friend died just a short time later. The cancer didn’t kill him the fear did! Anyone who has ever got a bad report from the doctor will tell you that the biggest factor is not the disease but the fear.

In today’s society most of us, (though many will not admit it) are fearful of aging. Women fearful of losing their husbands to the younger women will go to the plastic surgeon for a facelift, tummy tuck and enlargements. Men who share the fear of aging will get hair plugs, lipo… I’ll tell you folks the plastic surgery industry is at an all time high. Age, it’s not a fun thing.

The fear of being left alone, being rejected or failure all plague countless people. That is why suicide is so prevalent today. People are afraid to face tomorrow, so they extinguish tomorrow by taking their own lives. Depression is often a result of fear. Our society is loaded down with antidepressants and pills to conquer fear. Pills to cope, pills to sleep, pills to pep you up, pills to slow you down, pills to stop you from too much thinking and pills to help you think. Medicine is good and helps a lot of people. But personally I feel like we are an over medicated society.

And by the way, gentlemen are you allowed to admit you are afraid? Isn’t it true that men are to be the strong ones? Men are not allowed to admit to fear, that is beneath them. Isn’t that what you are taught from childhood up? If you didn’t keep up with the tough guys you were a sissy. Right? Wrong!

Everyone deals with fear, everyone! It is a natural emotion. But when it torments you and controls you then it is not normal or healthy.

Fear is the opposite of faith. Jesus continually said, fear not! Because it is impossible to believe when we are afraid. We have to face our fear with faith. Faith stands in the face of fear and believes that God will come through for us.

Let me tell you what happened when I was a teen. I came from a poor family. We had a lot of problems and the school I attended was aware of our home life. The kids use to tease us because we didn’t have much and my father was always sick. Sometimes he was confined to a mental institution. Anyway, I wanted to walk home with the “cool kids.” I wanted to be accepted even though I didn’t fit in. I use to walk with a group of kids after school over this bridge that was called the “Henry bridge.” There was a girl that was considered tough in school, she was big and could beat anyone up. She would see me coming up the bridge and laugh at me and tell the others, “Watch me freak Carol out!” By the time I reached the top of the bridge she would be laughing and intimidating me in front of all my friends. She would hit me in the face as it turned red she would hit me again. I never struck her back, I was too afraid. Every week I would walk up that bridge. I would see her at the top waiting for me. Every step that I took brought more fear and trepidation. I was helpless with fear. She was in control. How would I ever overcome this beating and fear? One day, I bumped into her in the school hallway. The minute I saw her, paralyzing fear gripped me. I new I was in for a hurting and she laid one on me that left me reeling. Boy, that hurt!

I decided that day, that I wasn’t going to take it from her anymore. I reached out and grabbed her and got her in a headlock. I was a small kid so it was all I could do so she couldn’t hurt me anymore. Man, I held on! She started kicking and trying to get away.. When I looked into her face I saw that she was afraid of me. When I finally released her she ran for her life. And folks, she never waited for me on the bridge again. I was free. Why? Because I stood up to her. That’s how you have to treat the devil, he is the author of fear. He tries to convince you that you are a prisoner of fear and he is in control. That not true! Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world . Greater, do you understand? Demons fear the Blood of Jesus. Fear is held captive when Faith is exercised. God is fearless and bigger then your fear.

Get out the Word of God and stand on it.

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