How To Have Freedom From Fear

Bible Book: Isaiah  41 : 10
Subject: Fear; Victory Over Fear

The Arabs have a fable that says Pestilence met a caravan on the way to Bagdad. "Why must you travel to Bagdad?" asked the Chief. "To take five thousand lives," he answered. On the way back Pestilence again met the caravan. "You deceived me," said the Chief. "You took fifty thousand lives." "No," insisted Pestilence. "I took five thousand lives. Fear killed the rest." That is a fable. But this is face-fear kills.

I. Listen To The Proclamation

"Fear not," says the Lord in Isaiah 41:10. Why?

When you are fearful you hurt yourself. Fear maddens your mind, ruins your reason, saps your strength, blights your body, and slays your soul.

When you are fearful you hurt God. When you are fearful about your path you doubt His guidance, for He promised in Psalm 32:8, "I will guide thee." When you are fearful of your protection you doubt His guardianship, for Psalm 34:7 says, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." When you are fearful of your provisions you doubt His goodness, for Philippians 4:19 promises, "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." When you are fearful of pain you doubt His grace, for 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for thee." And when you are fearful of your past, after confessing your sins, you again doubt His grace, for He says in Hebrews 8:12, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Basically there are two fears that torment men and women today. One has to do with pardon, and that is fear of the past. The other has to do with power, and that is fear of the future.

Fear of the past deals with pardon. It did not have to be written in the Bible that "your sins will find you out." You know that from experience as well as from exhortation.

Fear of the future has to do with power. So many sink, they do not soar; they grovel, they do not grow; they are overcome, they do not overcome.

One Sunday evening, after my orchestra played for a theater in my hometown, I was making my way home. I passed a revival meeting. The music was beautiful. It drew me into the service. The man of

God preached Jesus. In visions of my soul I could see Him dying for my sins. I was deeply stirred. In silence I prayed, "Lord Jesus, I thank Thee for dying for me. From this night on I will live for Thee." When the invitation was given, I went forward and confessed Christ. But the minister saw that I was puzzled. "What's wrong, Michael?" he asked. "My sins," I cried. "Oh, my sins." Turning to Psalm 103:12 we read, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." That thrilled me. But I was still perplexed. "Now what's wrong?" he asked. "I'm afraid I can't hold out. I'm afraid I'll fail." "In your strength you will fail," he answered, "but in Christ's strength you won't." Then he directed me to Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That encouraged me, but I was still disturbed. He could tell it, and he asked, "What else is bothering you?" "I'll be persecuted by my family and friends. They have already threatened me. I'm afraid." "Hear this," he answered, reading Isaiah 41:10, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." I accepted the promises of God's pardon. He took away my fear and gave me faith.

II. Look At The Divine Presence

Our Lord followed His proclamation, "Fear not," with the words, "I am with thee."

When you and I prayed, "Lord Jesus, come into my heart," He came in. For it is written in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and opens the door, I will come in." But that is not all. He adds in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Who is it that makes these promises? The One who is kinder than the kindest, sweeter than the sweetest, richer than the richest, stronger than the strongest, wiser than the wisest, and better than the best.

David Livingstone went to Africa to preach Christ when it was a wild and unknown land, the home of the savage tribes. For thirty years he experienced hunger and sickness and injuries. One day he said, "Shall I tell you what sustained me amidst the toils, the hardships, and loneliness of my yielded life? It was the promise, 'Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end.'" The Lord who walked with Livingstone in Africa, is by your side right now, waiting to meet your deepest need.

Because they refused to give up God for gold, or morality for merrymaking, or the Scriptures for self- indulgence, the three Hebrew young men were cast alive into a fiery furnace. The king demanded their death, so the furnace was heated seven times hotter than the hottest fire, and the men were bound before they were cast into it. The fiery flames leaped out and killed the soldiers who threw them in, but they didn't burn the young men. They only cut their ropes and freed them from their fetters. Suddenly, the king demanded, "Didn't we throw three men into the furnace? I see four." Who was the Fourth? The Lord who promised, "I am with thee." The Lord may allow you to get into a furnace of trials and temptations, but He will be right there with you. And the flames will not consume you. They will only cut your cords and enrich you.

Daniel refused to give up prayer for pleasure and position, so he was cast into the lion's den. The king could not sleep. He hurried to the lion's den early in the morning and called, "Daniel, was your God able to deliver you from the lions?" "Yes," answered Daniel. "My God has sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions so they could not touch me!" Who was that Angel? The One who promised, "I am with thee."

There was a famous lawyer who was always going AWOL, you know, After Women Or Liquor. He took a drink, and the drink took him. He couldn't stop. One day the Lord Jesus knocked at the door of his heart and he prayed, "'Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Save me and set me free from sin." The Lord came in. The he got to wondering how he would be able to get the victory. One day he saw a picture of Daniel in the lion's den. He shouted, "If God can shut the mouths of those lions, He can shut the mouth of the lions that tempt me." And the Lord did. No longer was he afraid. He had the Almighty God who is all-powerful and ever-present. He trusted in Him, and he triumphed.

III. Look At The Divine Possession

This God is omniscient. He sees and knows everything. He has perfect knowledge of every person

and every place. He has no need of secret agents to bring Him information. Neither must He rely on the newspaper, radio, or television. He has perfect knowledge of the past, present, and future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail of your life. He knows your wants and your weaknesses, your desires and your defeats. And He says, "I am thy God."

This God is omnipresent. He is present everywhere, all the time. It is reported that the Turks built their temples with a hole at the top to show that God cannot be confined to them but is in all places by His presence. So you can talk with Him any time and in any place, and you can enjoy His providence and protection every moment of every day and night. And He says, "I am thy God."

This God is omnipotent. The word "impossible" is not in His vocabulary. He can do anything. All nature is subject to Him. So are all men; all angels, too; even the Devil and his demons. And He says, "I am thy God."

This God is good, or the Good One. Everything He does for you is for your good. He wants only your good. He makes everything work for your good. And He says, "I am thy God."

One day at a parade the President's car came down the street. Suddenly a little boy dashed out of the crowd and started running to the President's car. Policemen stopped the boy and asked, "Don't you know he's the President?" "He's your President," said the boy, "but he's my father." God the Creator of the universe, the Governor of the world, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. But He is my Father. How did He become my Father? The Bible says, "As many as received Him, (Jesus) to them gave He power to become the children of God." I received Him, and God became my Father. If you receive the Lord Jesus, God will become your Father too. Then to you He will gladly say, "I am thy God."

IV. Listen To The Divine Promises

The first promise, "I will strengthen thee."

Our word "strength" comes from a word that signifies twisted together. So our Lord says to all who have received Him, "I am twisted together with you." Our soul is a strand and His soul is a strand. We are twisted together.

No wonder the apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." How many things? All things. He weaves His patience around our impatience and makes us patient. He weaves His strength around our weakness and makes us strong. He weaves His wisdom around our foolishness and makes us wise. He gives us everything we need to do everything we should because we are twisted together.

When things are good or bad, glad or sad, prosperous or perilous, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Whether there is plenty or poverty, honor or humiliation, praise or persecution, a palace or prison, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Everything depends upon the phrase "through Christ." One day our Lord said, "Withouth Me, you can do nothing." But with Him, we can do all things. This greatly encouraged an alcoholic, who turned from his sin to the Saviour. An old friend met him and said, "You don't drink any more with us. I don't see you wasting your health and money on liquor, like I am doing. I'm proud of you. I'm glad you have victory over the Devil. What's the secret?" The convert answered, "I have the Victor of the Devil in my heart. I do it 'through Christ.' "

Here is the second promise, "I will help thee." Suppose you need a million dollars, and I say, "I will help you." That would not mean a thing. Every time I put my hand into my pocket I go into debt. But that is not true of the Lord. He owns all the silver and all the gold. He owns the cattle upon a thousand hills. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's," and it adds, "the fullness thereof." When He says, "I will help thee," He is able and anxious to fill to the full all your needs.

Suppose you have a problem that you can not solve, and I say, "I will help you." That would not mean much. For I, too, have problems that I can not solve. But that is not true of our Lord. According to 1 Samuel 2:3 He is "a God of knowledge." If you need wisdom, ask Him. He is always ready to give you a bountiful supply of wisdom.

Suppose you are fighting a losing battle with temptations, and I say, "I will help you." That would not

mean very much. For I sin too. But what of the Lord? He was tempted worse than you and I have been tempted or ever will be tempted, and He triumphed over the tempter. Now He says to you, "I will help thee." Temptation is no sin. But yielding is sin. And temptation is the Devil's compliment. You have something he wants. But with the Lord's help, you can defeat him. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you."

Listen to the third promise, "I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." One evening some men were in a little boat that was buffeted by the waves. The Lord Jesus knew they were in danger, and he dropped everything He was doing to get to them. When they saw Him walking on the water, they were frightened. "It's a ghost!" they screamed. But Jesus said, "It is I; be not afraid." "If it is You," said Peter, "tell me to come to You on the water." "Come," He said. Peter got out of the boat and started to walk on the water. But he started to sink. Why? He took his eyes off the Saviour and put them on the storm and the sea. "Lord," he cried, "save me." Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. That is the fulfillment of the verse, "I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." You may find yourself in a storm. But you will not be alone. The Lord will drop everything to get to you. Call on Him, and He will uphold you with His victorious right hand.

Peter and John went to the temple one afternoon at the time of prayer. A crippled man was put there every morning to beg for money. But Peter said, "I have no silver or gold. But what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." He took him by the right hand and helped him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong. Then what did he do-limp? No, he leaped. He did not wobble, he walked. What a fulfillment of the verse, "I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." Are you lame, or limping, or lagging? Look to the Lord. He will uphold you.

"Only in life?" you ask. No, also in death. Mable Fuller was a beautiful, bright-eyed teenager who loved the Lord with all her heart. But she was stricken with a deadly brain cancer. She became awfully sick and blind. Mable was in constant pain, some moments worse than others. When she was dying she said to her father, Dr. David Otis Fuller, "I won't be afraid, Dad. I have Jesus right here with me. Soon I'll be with Him. Oh, Daddy, I just had a wonderful thought. I can't see anything here. But I'll be able to see in heaven. And the first face I see will be the face of Jesus. Then I'll sing, 'Once I was blind, but now I see.' O, Daddy, I'm getting another pain. Maybe this one will be the one that will take me to Jesus. Daddy, I'm going. I see Jesus. I'm not afraid. He's with me."

In life or in death fear is not a mad monster from another world that takes hold of you, and over which you have no control. You produce your own fear. You alone are responsible for fear. You can have fear or faith, but can not have both.

Fear is spawned by unbelief. One evening the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "Let us pass over unto the other side." They took Him into the boat and in just a little while a terrible storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full and about to sink. Frantically the disciples awakened Him, shouting, "Carest Thou not that we perish?" He rebuked the wind and quieted the sea, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, in Mark 4:40, "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?" They had fear but not faith. Because of their lack of confidence in the Lord Jesus, there was a lack of courage.

Fear can not be dismissed by an act of the will. But it can be driven out by faith. "But," you ask, "how can I get more faith?" Evangelist D.L. Moody wrote, "I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, verse 17, 'Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.' I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. Now I opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since."


A little boy went to Sunday School and was given a card with the Bible verse, "Have Faith In God." He was proud of it, and he said, "I must take this home and hang it in my room." Riding home on the bus, he opened the window and carelessly put out his hand. A gust of wind came along and took the card from his grasp. Quickly He shouted, "Stop the bus! I lost my faith in God." How we need to stop everything and put our faith in the One who said, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." B.B. McKinney wrote:

Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely, He sees and knows all the way you have trod;

Never alone are the least of His children; Have faith in God, have faith in God.

Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered, Your earnest plea He will never forget;

Wait on the Lord, trust His Word and be patient, Have faith in God, He'll answer yet.

Have faith in God in you pain and your sorrow, His heart is touched with your grief and despair; Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him, And leave them there, oh, leave them there. Have faith in God though all else fail about you; Have faith in God, He provides for His own;

He cannot fail through all kingdoms shall perish, He rules, He reigns upon His throne.

Have faith in God, He's on His throne.

Have faith in God, He watches o'er His own; He cannot fail, He must prevail;

Have faith in God, Have faith in God.