COMMON CAUSES OF FEAR

Most fear fits into the category of unrealistic fear.  Basically we can call it by this simple little acrostic, F.E.A.R., False Evidence Appears Real.  They are not based on a real danger, but are way out of proportion to the danger involved.  But keep in mind, your spiritual status in life can often determine what is realistic and what is not realistic.  For instance it would be realistic for a Non-Christian to fear death, while such a fear is unrealistic to a Christian.  A Non-Christian may fear God as a harsh, judgmental, being ready to smack them on the head with a club if they do wrong.  While the Christian knows that although God does judge sin, he is also a loving, forgiving, compassionate, being ready to forgive if we are ready to receive.  Now let’s take a look at the four major causes of fear, keep in mind that there could be more than four, but we will only use four for this study.

1) Parental Influence: A major portions of our fears are passed down to us from our parents.  Let’s say a mother who is afraid of thunder storms always works the children into a frenzy when a storm approaches. Although her actions are not intentional, the children learn to fear.  Parents will tell their children that the boogey man will get them at night, teach their kids to fear the dark.

2) Guilty Conscience: Proverbs 28:1 states “The wicked flee, when no one pursues them.” A guilty conscience can produce all kinds of fears in our lives.

3) Seeking Attention: Some people exaggerate their fears in order to get special attention.  For instance some people may say “I’m afraid of mice, or spiders or snakes.”  And before they know it they have developed the fear.  Fear is a horrible thing, it is nothing more than negative faith.  Knowing this should teach us to watch what comes out of our mouth.

4) Past Experiences: Say you have had a bad experience riding a horse, suddenly without knowing it you have a memory of being afraid of horses.  These type of fears must be worked through slowly and carefully.

Daily Verse: A There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:   1 John 4:18a

 

FEAR OF MAKING BAD CHOICES

 

On march 3rd,1995 a thirty -eight year old man decided to cross the Illinois Eight lane Tristate Tollway.  After successfully crossing the four northbound lanes, he raised up his head, and accidently allowed the wind to blow his hat from his head.   Immediately without thinking, he began to chase his hat, and was struck by a northbound semi-trailer trucker and killed.  How many people have lost everything, while chasing after nothing?  It has been rightly said that your decisions determine your destiny.  So make your decisions wisely, for you must either live with them or die with them.  We cannot afford one day of indecision.  The minute we become indecisive, and fail to choose, is the time when someone steps up and chooses for us. Some people choose to put their life in the hands of circumstance.  This is a sure fire way to live in constant discouragement.

One of the best ways to make good choices, is to include God in the decision making process.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously, and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:7

Sometimes God may direct us to do nothing.  But remember, you can’t make a career of doing nothing.  There once was a man who weighed every decision too carefully.  He would say to himself, “On the one hand,……..but on the other hand.” His opposing thoughts weighed so heavily on him that he always chose to do nothing.  When he finally died they carved a big “zero” on his tombstone.  In life you must choose to shoot or carry the bullets, fish or cut bait, but one things for sure if you don’t do something, there’s not going to be any dinner for you tonight.

Daily Verse: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God….James 1:7

FEAR OF DISGRACE

Fear, like pain, can let us know if we have a problem in our life that needs our immediate attention. For instance if we would place our hand on a hot stove ,and be burnt by it we will know the next time to fear placing our hand on a hot stove.  If there was no pain, we may just leave our hand on it until the flesh be consumed from our hand.  In the same way God can use this fear to keep us realizing who we are in Christ.  Regardless of how everyone else is behaving, we are a people of another standard, a people who has an image to preserve without being displayed as a Aholier than thou.@  Other people may live a wild and crazy existence, but we have a name to uphold, and that name is Christ.  Shame, embarrassment, and disgrace can become very pressing and valuable fears.  Most of us live behind closed doors in our souls.  We let no one see into the depths of our hearts. We keep our weaker side to ourselves.  Nobody is allowed to see the problems we inwardly face, or the imperfections that secretly haunt us.  The fear of disgrace keeps us secretly screaming for help, without anyone hearing.  When I think of this fear I think of the prophet Jonah.  He seemed to be filled with this fear.  Although he was a great patriot, of his homeland Israel, as we’

We already discussed in another lesson, he also was willing to let as many as 120,000 people suffer God’s wrath and judgement, just to spare his reputation.  Like Jonah, many people who suffer from the fear of disgrace worship a false God.  This worship, makes them into what is commonly called an idolater, for worshiping an idol.  What=s the idol they worship you may ask?  It’s the idol of pride.  It took three days and three nights in the belly of a whale for the idol of pride to be sacrificed, before Jonah was ready to be used by God again.  What is your whale’s belly God is using on you?  Is it a passed up promotion?  Or maybe a humbling experience where you get left holding the bag, while everyone else laughs?   Maybe God has placed you all alone, where you can get to see the real you for a change.  Whichever, this fear has a powerful contrast.  Think for a moment what the word disgrace means.  It means to be removed from grace, or to fall out of favor.  To be bankrupt from honor.

Friend there truly is only one favor that matters.  Jesus two thousand years ago faced the disgrace of the cross for us, so that we could once again fall into God’s good grace.  Now that we’ve been brought back, after being purchased by the blood of his dear son, let’s not need this fear to keep us living in the straight and narrow, but instead let’s allow our never dying love for the master to take over instead.  One day as Jesus was in the temple the Pharisees brought him a woman whom they said had been taken in the very act of adultery.  So here’s a woman probably naked, since most people don’t commit adultery with their clothes on, lying at the feet of Jesus as he sat on the ground, writing in the sand.  She’s weeping, ashamed, and probably afraid since the punishment for this offense was stoning to death.  He seeing through they’re hypocrisy, since the law demanded both offending parties to be involved in the stoning; He said he that is without sin, cast the first stone.   When he finally looked up, he inquired to the harlot, as to where her accusers were.  She informed him that there were none.  And said that he would not become one either, as long as she would stop sinning.  Let this be our lesson also.

Daily Verse: … who for the joy that was before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.    Hebrews 12:2

 

FEAR OF DIVORCE

 

Fifty years is considered the golden anniversary for marriage, and I’m sorry to say that not very many survive that long.  In fact, we live in such a me generation. I heard a story of a man whose wife was diagnosed as having terminal cancer, so he quickly divorced her.  Today’s ME generation, is so obsessed with themselves.  They pamper their bodies to the extreme, lifting, running, shaping, tanning, sculpting, rubbing, whatever you can do, they have thought of it.  Anything that brings instant gratification, and pleasure, has been dreamed up, regardless of the eternal consequences.  If someone does not help you grow, divorce them, they say. Some claim their spouse has not kept up on their intellectual growth, so they must be divorced in order to allow them to excel beyond where they are presently.  Some just want a new, younger model that isn’t sagging, or turning gray.  Today it seems not to matter how faithful a partner is, as long as MY needs are satisfied.  In all the need to satisfy self, the children are left holding the bag, full of fragmented lives since today one in every two marriages end in divorce.

With these odds so against us, let’s take a look, and see what God has to say to the ME generation from his word.  The scene is another teaching from our Lord Jesus as he was instructing the people on the need for forgiveness. Then suddenly the Pharisees thought that they may trip him up so they began to question him on the subject of divorce, since Moses allowed them to divorce in the law. Jesus went on to tell them, it was because they were hard-hearted that Moses permitted them to divorce. But in God’s eyes divorced couples were still one flesh.  Then he went on to give the only true concession for divorce according to the eyes of God in Matthew 19:9; “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committed adultery; and whosoever marrieth her which is put away commit adultery.”  What was the disciple’s response to those hard words?  The next verse says; A if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry” Now I know what some of you are thinking, how can something that is so prevailing today be so wrong.  It is my dear friend.  To God marriage is the greatest covenant a man and woman can share with him.  It is the covenant of two becoming one.  The same thing he does with us, when we allow him to come into our heart, and become our husband.  Now if you are one of the unfortunates that have suffered from this unfortunate sin, maybe even before you were saved, don’t live a life filled with condemnation.  As with all sin, repent, and move forward in Christ. The apostle Paul understood what a tough time it was going to be, so in his writings to the Corinthian Church he included a concession that if you were married to an unbeliever, and they left you because of Christ, let them go, and live in peace.  For then you have not sinned, in such a case.  If you are a victim to an unfortunate divorce, don’t live a condemned life, for you are not held accountable for the actions of others, only for your response to them.

Daily Verse: Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.            Matthew 19:6

 

FEAR OF BEING OVERLOOKED

 

Have you ever felt like you were just put on a shelf and forgot about?  Promotion after promotion just came and went without you ever seeing any sign of them.  In fact in most cases nobody even considered you for the job. It’s like being the last one to always get picked for a team.  You feel like you shouldn’t even play, because no one really wants you to, but since they’re being nice they let you play.  David the second king of Israel had these same feelings, listen to how he describes them is Psalm 102:6; “I am like a pelican in the wilderness; I am like an owl in the desert.”  What could be anymore alone, or out of place than a pelican in the wilderness?  Pelicans live around water, where they can scoop down, and get fish by the mouthful, something that is in short supply in the wilderness.  And an owl in the desert.  Who in the world ever sees an owl in the desert?  Owls only come out at night, and nobody ever goes out, and roams around in the desert at night, it’s far too dangerous.  David was saying, “Here I am, alive in this world, but nobody even knows I exist.”  I am the overlooked human being in this world.  I only exist, and that is it, in fact if I would cease to exist today, nobody would probably even know about it.

Some people who suffer from this fear are always trying to make things happen in their lives.  When they go to prayer meeting, they make sure everyone knows about their financial problem, just in case God wants to use someone in the church to alleviate their problem. They are always trying to plan how God can get them from here to there in life.  Dear one I’ve learned that all of us get put on a shelf from time to time.  This is how God builds the character that he so desires in our life.  When we don=t see his hand operating in our life then we must allow our faith to see us thru.  Remember that God promised to always make himself aware of the affairs of his children, so that nothing escapes without him noticed it.   When he is ready, after you have passed the test, then he will lift you up to the statuses he desires for you. Just learn to be patient and wait of him.

Daily Verse: For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Psalm 75: 6&7

 

FEAR OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS

 

God’s word is the revelation to our soul.  In it we find the desires of our master for his people.  He firmly expresses his desires for his servants, then it is entirely up to us to respond in his favor.  If we want to move ahead in our spiritual experience then we must follow his instructions to the letter.  In so doing we will guarantee his powerful presence in our endeavors.  Christianity is all about relationships.  It begins with man founding a relationship with his creator God, and becoming established in the faith by believing in the work of the cross performed by God’s only son Jesus Christ.  Then, it quickly progresses to one another.  Christianity is all about one another.  God says; “How can a man say he loves God, which he can’t see, while he hates his brother, which he can see.”  I don’t know about you, but it makes sense to me.  You may ask, what is God’s desire for me?  I think he made it pretty plain when he said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.  God’s plan is simply all about relationship.  God says that our relationships with others should be so deep, that we would be willing to lay down our life for our fellow man.  To crucify all the needs, and selfish desires, and quests, that only benefit us, and prefer our fellow man.  History records people who have did just that.  Servants such as Mother Teresa, Pastor Damien, David Livingstone, and Jim Elliot who gave the ultimate price of his life for his cause, learned that true Christianity is all about restoring relationships.

Scripture makes it every Christian’s responsibility when they see another believer fall.  Galatians six verse one says; “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, (US) restore such a one it the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”  We must stop praying about what we should do, and go to that person, and restore them with love.  It was Jesus’s mission, and he’s left it up to us.  Only genuine love will take action, and believe me genuine love, and compassion, will go a long way, to removing the fear from someone’s life. We can make a difference, if we will just do what the bible commands us to do.  We should go and tell them their fault.  Make it plain, and also go with an answer to the problem.  Our test of spiritually is our ability to expose sin, while at the same time restoring the offender, in love and meekness.  Will this work?  More times than not, in fact one man was even quoted for saying; “Christianity” “It might work if we would only give it a chance.”

Daily Verse: Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.

Psalm 128:1

 

 

THE FACTS AND EFFECTS OF FEAR

 

There was a time in every one’s life when they did not have unrealistic fear.  But I’m sorry to say that type of fear plagues many lives today.  For most, some traumatic experience happened in their life and a fear developed.  Then the fear is carried from the past into the present.  Here are a few of the facts and effects of these types of fears.

First of all, all fear is real, even if it is not realistic.  Just because something is not realistic, (or shows immediate danger) does not mean it won’t seem real.  Usually, our minds will feed our fears with the “what ifs.”  What if I would have done it this way, or what if they show up, etc?  The focus becomes shifted to the fear if you allow this to happen.  It will soon begin to grow in your mind, until your mind becomes completely preoccupied with the fear itself.  Finally, the power of God, and the truth about the situation are not as meaningful as the fear.  If this behavior is allowed to persist, it will affect your entire life, until it seems as though you are living in torment.  I John 4 : 18 puts it this way,  “There is no love in fear, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment….”  When we become preoccupied with our problem, it causes us to be tense and irritable.  The torment of fear can even effect our physical wellbeing through headaches, high blood pressure, ulcers, increased heart rate, etc.  Even our social relationships can be drastically effected by our fear.  We could tend to be reclusive, or maybe unresponsive to other people’s actions toward us.  Some people may even label us as a  “little weird.”

The wealthiest man of the early twentieth century, Howard Hughes died alone in his massive penthouse apartment because he was afraid of catching some disease and dying.  He wore plastic gloves all the time. He ate with sterilized silverware, and walked on newspapers to avoid sickness.  The irony of the situation is he died from a disease.

Daily Verse: For the thing that I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come upon me.              Job 3:25

List of some of the Fears in the book

 

Understanding God-given fear

Fear of Adversity

Fear of Terrorism

Fear of Time

Fear of God’s Will

Fear of the

Fear of Marriage

Common Causes of Fear

Fear of Gossip

Fear of Gaining Weight

Fear of Failure

Fear of Risk Taking

Fear of Making Bad Choices

Fear of Pain

Fear of Panic Attacks Pt 1

Fear of Panic Attacks Pt 2

Fear of Guilt

Fear of Strife & Unforgiveness. Pt 1

Fear of Strife & Unforgiveness. Pt. 2

Fear of Depression

Fear of Planning

Fear of Bitterness

Fear of Dying

Fear of Worry

The Facts & Effects of Fear

Fear of Suffering

Fear of Ignorance

Fear of Change

Fear of Being Alone (loneliness)

Fear of Criticism

Fear of the Past

Fear of Temptation

Fear of the Failure

Fear of the Dark

Fear of Submission

Fear of Self-Pity

The Fear of the Lord

Fear of Unhappiness

Fear of Abuse

Fear of Intimacy

Fear of Conflict

Fear of Teenage Pregnancy

Fear Discouragement

Fear of the Opinion of Others

Fear of Trials

Fear of Warfare

Fear of Distraction

Fear of Hurting Inside

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of Man

Fear of Intimidation

Fear of Aging

Fear of Inferiority

Fear of not Belonging

Fear of Sickness

Fear of Lack of Appreciation

Fear of Demon Possession

Fear of Loss

Fear of Broken Promises

Fear of Being Barren

Fear of Discomfort

Fear of Fire

Fear of Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

Fear of Loss of a Child

Fear of the Law

Fear of Inadequacy

Fear of Storms

Fear of Nightmares

Fear of Corrections

Fear of A New Job

Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of Mental Battles

Fear of Stress

Fear of Responsibility

Fear of Commitment

Fear of Blindness

Fear of Crisis

Fear of Accusation

Fear of Provision

Fear of Emergency

Fear of Powerlessness

Fear of Hopelessness

Fear of Disorder

Fear of Finishing

Fear of Surrender

Fear of Economic Collapse

Fear of Violation (Rape)

Fear of Second Coming

Fear of Being Unsatisfied

Fear of Circumstances

Fear of Sin

Fear of Debt

Fear of Doctors

Fear of Weakness

Fear of Reconciliation

Fear of Embarrassment

Fear of Unworthiness

Fear of Physical Handicap

365 Fears in All