Mathew 14 Lesson

Fear And Doubt

FEAR AND DOUBT

Today’s lesson focuses on two tools that Satan uses to counteract our faith:

  1. Fear,
  2. Doubt.

We will look at these one at a time, and then the lesson will be yours.

FEAR

Each of us has only a finite number of days on earth, so why would we want to spend them being afraid?  Especially, if God does not want us to be!

As Christians, we are supposed to be brave and courageous (Joshua 1:9), yet many of us still experience fear in our lives.

As we begin today’s lesson, try to think of something that is currently going on in your life that you are afraid of. Keep that thought in mind as you read the scriptures and commentary from the lesson. Then ask yourself:

“What is God trying to teach me, or tell me?”

FEAR DOES NOT COME FROM GOD

What is causing you to be afraid? One thing is for certain, the answer is certainly not God! The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

In his first epistle, John wrote:

  • “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18.

These scriptures remind us that God does not want us to be afraid.

FEAR AND THE APOSTLE PAUL

The Apostle Paul lived an amazing life! That, however, does not mean that he was never afraid. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, courage is continuing despite one’s fear.

Earlier in his life, when Paul was persecuting Christians, he created fear in the hearts of many. After the road to Damascus, Paul devoted the rest of his life to the preaching and teaching of God’s word.

He suffered in his service to the Lord, having been nearly stoned to death, beaten with rods, and imprisoned multiple times! It would only make sense that Paul lived his life in constant fear with everything that he had been through, except for one thing:

God told him not to be afraid, and Paul listened to him! Luke writes about how the Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision.  The Lord said:

  • Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. – Acts 18:9-11.

These words must have been of great comfort and encouragement to Paul. God inspired these words, and all the words of the Bible, to teach us, correct us, and train us in righteousness. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that we understand what the Bible says (and does not say) on all matters!

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT FEAR

  1. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.” - Isaiah 41:10,
  2. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9,
  3. The Lord is the defense of my life;  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?   Whom should I dread?” - Psalm 27:1,
  4. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” - John 14:27.

DOUBT

Doubt is the opposite of faith and Jesus warns us to not let doubt rule our lives. Most of us would say that we desire to have stronger faith and less doubt. Fortunately for us, the Bible tells us how to do exactly that!

The first step towards having a stronger faith is committing to spend more time in God’s word. Reading the Bible consistently and often is the best way to grow our faith. Consider the following scripture taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans:

  • “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.

If we want a stronger faith, we need to read the Bible. We should not make it any more complicated than that. As our knowledge of the Bible grows, we will see for ourselves that it truly is the inspired word of God.

CONCLUSION

Fear and doubt are two powerful tools of the Devil. We need to be careful about the types of thoughts that we put into our heads. If we want to spend our time watching the news or hearing about the various sins of the day, we will have plenty of chances to do that.

But that is not how God wants us to spend our days. Our purpose as Christians is to glorify God and to serve others. Doubt and fear do not help us with either of these things. Instead of focusing on the sins of the world, God wants us to think about positive things. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Philippians:

  • “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

When we keep our thoughts focused on positive things, and commit to regular and frequent Bible studies, our faith will grow, and doubt and fear will diminish.

We will end today’s study with the following quote from the Book of Romans. It reminds us of the transformation that will take place for those who put their trust in the Lord:

  • “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:2.

Comments

CARLY

I AM FACING ADVERSITY RIGHT NOW AND I AM DETERMINED TO HOLD ON TO THE LORD. I AM DETERMINED TO RECEIVE HIS COMFORT AND GUIDANCE. I THANK THE LORD FOR WHAT I AM FACING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I WILL BE ABLE TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE ELSE ONE DAY... PRAISE GOD!!!

Reply
JB
CARLY

Amen Carly! Keep the faith!

Reply
James A Guillory

How do we keep fear from overtaking us?
Do exactly what Peter did,keep His eyes on Jesus, but never to look away,it is when we look away from Jesus,the author and finisher of our faith that fear and doubt set in and we become weak and not able to accomplish what God has commanded us to do.once we have surrendered our lives to Christ we are born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise we have everything that we need to live a righteous and holy life without fear and doubt when we keep our eyes on Jesus that is the key! We must stay connected to Jesus remember in John 15 where Jesus said that he is the Vine and we are the branches if a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit apart from me you can do NOTHING!!

Reply
Larry Patten

In today’s world, we can see all that is problems and issues around us. We can choose to listen to the voices that yell about who is right and who is wrong. We can observe more violence today toward our fellow people than ever before. It is presented every day on our screen if we choose to look at it. It can affect our heart and make us wonder about our future. How do we overcome it? We can choose! We look somewhere else! Not to ignore but to bring peace and with that peace, we may be able to influence one person. When we look we must look deep inside of ourselves. God has promised that we all have a connection to him. We have manifested within us a delight of our heart that is presented to us through the wonderful nature of our spiritual relationship that God has placed in our hearts just for us. We can feel it like a warm breeze on the back of our neck. We can feel it as if it is the warm glow of a fire. We can sense it in the grasp of our child's hand. That delight of our heart will not only tell us who we are but it will show us whose we are! Once we have found this delight we must commit to it fully. This commitment does not happen over time, not when we are comfortable. Commitment to God is not something we decide like we would choose a jacket to check the fit. We must commit in the twinkling of an eye, at that moment, driven by that delight of our heart. With that commitment, we must trust in Jesus to walk this journey in life with us. That trust that Jesus is there with us should provide within you a feeling of comfort and a trust in yourself that can come to you because you know you are okay in the eyes of Jesus. Now that we have that trust we must rest from the doubt and worry it causes by asking those questions for which we are afraid to find an answer. You see, when we fail to ask Jesus if he is there with us on this journey, doubt will creep into our life. Doubt causes us to worry as to whether we can “walk on the troubled waters.” Worry is a corrosive force that eats away at our trust which destroys our commitment and moves us away from the delight of our heart that God has given us. We are also an impatient creature. We want God to deliver to us NOW! We want him to make everything okay. Not his okay but ours! Not tomorrow, not next year, not in the next life. We want it now! But the final step in being comfortable in life's troubled times is that you must be willing to wait. You are on God’s time not your time! It is God's clock that controls not yours. It is the clock of your spiritual nature that tells you when the time has come, not the clock of your worldly nature that rules. Remember this time we spend here on this earth is but part of the Journey. There is more to come! Jesus is with you on the journey whether it is the best of times or times of challenge. You can walk on the water of troubled times if you continue to believe and stay connected through that delight of your heart.

Reply
CARLY
Larry Patten

THANK YOU, I NEEDED THIS MESSAGE FROM YOU

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