Seventh grade, this week I want us to talk about our fears. People can become so fearful that it keeps them from being able to do anything. It paralyzes them. So many of our fears come from thinking about the “what ifs” of this world? We become fearful when we do not know how something is going to work out. We are afraid of things we have no control over. We can be fearful because we are afraid God will not work things out according to OUR will. This coronavirus is scary. What if I get it? What if someone I care about gets it? Maybe you are afraid of what is going to happen in the future. The best we can do is to do the things we know to do and ask God to take care of what is scaring us. Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about fear.
Fear robs you of peace. Hear what God says in Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the (1)______________________ that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of (2)_______________________, and not of evil, to give you an (3)__________________________ ______________. I like the way the NIV says it: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The word “plan” is from the Hebrew word meaning to think, count, impute, esteem, reckon, plan. The word for future is from the Hebrew word meaning latter time, the latest part, the future. Its general meaning is after, later, behind, following. God is thinking about you. He knows what is best for you. He cares about what happens to you.
Let’s look at another passage from the Old Testament. There are some people who do not believe that God’s Words in the Old Testament were for anyone except the Israelites. God did have specific instructions for them, but He also gave them words to live by because they were His children. When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were adopted into His kingdom with all the full rights and privileges of a son or daughter. God does not change–as we have already studied in an earlier unit—so His words of encouragement and His promises are for us, too. Read Deuteronomy 31:6.
Be (4)_______________________ and of a good (5)_____________________, fear not, nor be (6)_______________________ of them; for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not(7) ___________________ thee, nor (8)__________________________ thee. Sometimes we may think God fails us, but we don’t know the whole picture. Only God knows the whole picture. As 1Corinthians 13: 12 says, “For now we see through a glass, (9)____________________; but then (10)_________________ to (11)________________; now I (12)_____________________ in part; but then shall I (13)___________________ even as I am known.
Christ had words of comfort for us for the things that scare us and worry us. Consider Matthew 6: 31-34.
Therefore take no thought, saying, “What shall we(14) _______?” or “What shall we (15)______________________?” or “Wherewithal shall we be(16)_________________?” …..for your heavenly (17)_______________________ knoweth that ye have (18)__________________ of all these things. But (19)__________________ ye (20)____________________ the kingdom of (21)______________, and His (22)______________________________; and all these things shall be (23)________________________ unto you. Take therefore no (24)__________________ for (25)_______________________; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the (26)________________ thereof. I like how my Bible words it–each day has enough trouble of its own.
Evidently the disciples had their share of fears. In Matthew 10:29-31 Jesus continues to give them encouragement concerning their fears.
Are not two (27)__________________________ sold for a farthing?(In other words they did not have much value.) and one of them shall not (28)________________ on the ground without your Father. But the very (29)_______________ on your (30)_____________________ are all (31)___________________________. (32)____________________ ye not therefore, ye are of more (33)_____________________ than many sparrows. Imagine that! God knows the number of hairs on your head and the number of cells in your body. We don’t have to live in fear, because our God is trustworthy. Even when we don’t understand why things are happening we can be assured He has our best interests at heart.
Peter knew His LORD. So when he tells us in 1Peter 5:7 to “(34)___________________________ all your (35)_________________ upon Him; for He (36)_________________________ for you,” we can trust that Christ cares about the things that concern us and scare us.
In my prayer time in the morning, I lift you and your family, along with my family and my faculty and staff family, up in prayer about our worries, fears, and anxieties. Psalm 139: 1-5 says,
1 O LORD, You have (37) _________________ me and known me.
2 You know when I (38)________ and when I (39)___________;
You understand my (40)____________________ from afar.
3 You search out my (41)_______________________ and my lying down;
You are (42)_____________________ of all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my (43)____________________,
You know all about it, O LORD.
5 You hem me in (44)_________________ and (45)_____________________;
You have laid Your hand upon me.
I ask God to hem us in–to surround us with Himself-so that when fears, worries, and anxious times come calling and try to drag us off the path God has for each of us, that it will only bump us into Him, and at His touch we would know His peace that surpasses human understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I also pray that when we take our eyes off of God and on to ourselves and our circumstances that He will lift our eyes back up to Him. Psalm 121: 1-2 says it this way:
I will lift up mine (46)_______________ unto the hills, from whence cometh my (47)________________.
2 My (48)________________ cometh from the (49)______________, which made heaven and earth.
So this week let us all practice turning our fears over to the LORD. He has enabled medical professionals to give us some good advice about the protections we should take. That is all you can do. I remember when I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I did not know if God was going to heal me or take me home to Heaven, but I did know this. God granted medical knowledge to doctors to treat cancers. My part was to go through the treatments that my doctors recommended and that was my part. I asked God to be sovereign over my healing. That was His part. So use the knowledge God has given to the medical professionals and do what your parents are telling you to do to be as safe as possible and trust God with the outcome. I miss all of you. I miss your smiling faces. I miss your sense of humor. You may not be in my presence, but you are in my heart.