9-15-2019 Overcoming Fear


September 15, 2019


I shared part of this with the Wednesday Study Group. Early this last week, sometime while Connie and I was not at home, our yellow Lab, Baylee, must have gone up the stairs to our bedroom and fell on the steps while coming back down. That’s the best we can figure since she refused to go back up the steps when it came time to turn in for the night on Monday.


Now, she has always been a nervous dog but it has increased in the last year. The vet contributes it to a film forming deep in her left eye that is causing her to slowly lose her site. But Monday evening her reluctance and fear to traverse the steps was unprecedented. We knew something had happened. Kind words of encouragement, firm words seeking to stimulate an obedience response, treats… nothing worked.


As many know Connie’s alarm goes off at 4:20 A.M. each morning beginning her day. We attempted to leave a light on down stairs in hopes the dog would just settle down or eventually gain the courage to come up stairs. Unfortunately, since she has slept in our room for almost 8 years, she sat at the foot of the steps and whined… needless to say…no sleep. So, I got the rollaway cot out, hauled it down stairs, and slept with the dog so Connie could get some sleep.


On Tuesday the same thing occurred. This time though she paced a significant portion of the night trying to muster the courage to get up the stairs. We have hardwood floors on our first floor and I can still hear the click, click, click of toe nails in my mind. Wednesday’s bed time came along though, we turned off the lights and she burst up the stairs, leaped onto the bed, and waited for us with a satisfied grin on her mug. Relief, hers and ours, filled the atmosphere.


Fear is a hard thing to conquer at times. It can sneak up on us at the most unexpected and inopportune moments. It can be actual or perceived. In fact, we can work ourselves into a frenzy just anticipating an encounter. Some refer to this fear as a ‘spirit of fear’. Anthropologists identify it as a participant in the ‘fight or flight response’. But fear can actually be a God-given emotion to keep us safe in a fallen world.


Fear was absent in the Garden of Eden until the “Fall”. Yet it became a necessity, like so many other attributes, in a fallen world, after the fall. Think about it, like so many other human characteristics God created humanity with, this sin-tainted world has robbed those characteristics and altered them from their intended purposes to dishonor God. Sex… physical characteristics and uniqueness… reproduction… the list could go on. But none of this caught God by surprise. None of it detracts from God’s purpose that we glorify His Son because He is fearless.


Job 41:33 (NASB)
33 "Nothing on earth is like him, One made without fear.


Bottom line… we don’t have to overcome the paralyzing fear of this world on our own. Just as Connie and I encouraged Baylee to overcome the fear that paralyzed her… God, even more so, is our strength and guide in overcoming worldly fear.


Psalm 23:4 (NASB)
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.


Psalm 27:1 (NASB)
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?


Psalm 27:3 (NASB)
3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.


Psalm 46:1-2 (NASB)
1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;


Psalm 78:53 (NASB)
53 He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies.


Psalm 118:6 (NASB)
6 The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?


Proverbs 29:25 (NASB)
25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry