How to have faith with a lifetime of fear
- How to take criticism
- Fear vs. faith
- Can you have faith without fear?
Gary Aris: Tosheka Meekman says “Very Gary good, thank you for sharing! I agree as well, many feel worthless everywhere. I do pray your ministry is greatly blessed and so many may be freed of the lies of Satan and instills in the depths of this earthly place where we breathe.” So, Tosheka, thank you for that wonderful comment for our last show, episode nine “Why are you worthless?” If you haven’t listened to that yet, go and check that out. You can hear that on Finally Alive Radio. By the way, welcome to the show Finally Alive Radio. I’m your host, Gary Aris. Hope you’re doing well today? You know, I threw out my back a couple days ago. And I’m in quite a bit of pain here, I was told I can do a re-run of the show. If you don’t know, we’re on the radio 99.5 KKLA if you’re listening to the podcast of course.
So, I was told I can just do a rerun of an older show. Just for the sake of you know just so you can feel better but I declined. I say no, I think I should do the show. Let’s not do a repeat if we don’t have to. I’ll bear with the pain, in fact, even yesterday in counselling people– saw me kind of limping, kind of making my way to the office and I could tell the faces they’ve just were just cringing. Cause it’s painful, I’m in pain. And they just said, “We can cancel the session, if you want to. It’s totally fine, we understand”. But, I said no, let’s just push through and then I’ll tell you why. I’ll be honest with you, I’m going to be very, very honest. It’s because of you, I don’t want to leave you hanging. I want to do my best, if I can be here even if it’s in pain. It’s somewhat bearable so I’ll push through, I’ll be okay. I’ll live through this too but I may not know you but you are worth it. I’ll just say it like that, you’re definitely worth it. You know, I made a commitment to God first of all to do this, he put this on my heart to do and I’m going to do it. I’m going to do everything I can to come through for the show until he says, it’s done and then then we’ll stop. I don’t need the show; I don’t need to do the show but it’s on my heart to do.
I feel like the Lord has guided me or taken me to this place, he’s opened up opportunities for radio and for podcast abilities to do this. So, I’m going to do my best and be the best steward I can be for this and here we are. So, that’s the first reason, the second reason is you. I want to be here for you as best as I can. Some people I can be in session with you and some I may never meet you, I may never hear your voice. You’ll know who I am but I won’t know who you are and that’s fine. I get that but even though I don’t know you, you’re important enough for me to do the show with my backache here. And you know I do have to credit my parents on this one, they did do some things right okay? I still remember when I was a kid you know, my dad, he would go to work and rarely, incredibly rarely miss. I mean he would have to be beyond sick for him to miss work, he wouldn’t miss work and my mom same thing. I would be sick, I’d have the cold and she said no you get dressed we’re going, you’re going to school and rarely that I missed school. So, you’ve got to appreciate that and I think that’s what’s groomed me into even pushing through some backache that I’m feeling right now, as we speak. But so be it, so be it. It is what it is and we’ll make it through, look we are doing it like we’re doing it okay? We’re doing it, so it’s all right.
Tosheba again, I thank you for your comment there, that was very, very nice of you. I appreciate that I would love to hear more comments. The other day, I also got another comment. Let me share this one with you, I can’t remember verbatim, but it was a lot of criticism and I appreciate that. I want to share a little bit of this with you and I kind of give you the gist of it and what I remember at least. Especially, with the last episode and so it’s funny we have a positive comment and then we have some criticism. Let me share both sides so if I remember correctly they said, “You put out a lot of Bible verses which was tough because I’m just chewing on the first bible verse and here you are going to the next Bible verse” and I did, I had whole bunch of Bible verses there and they even said they didn’t like the intro music.
So, let me take you through how I’m going to process this because I think this is helpful because we all get criticized and I believe it’s actually a good thing, so let me help you with this. So, there’s a couple different things I can do with the said criticism. In a nutshell, it was too many Bible verses and they didn’t like the intro music. Okay, so let’s take a couple different approaches here. One, I can go into the sad route, I can get sad about this and say, “Oh, man they’re right, I must not be good enough. Maybe, I should just quit this and throw this all away. I’m not made for this, I don’t have any radio background in all of this, I’m only nine shows in, here’s number 10 here what do I know? And the intro music, yea they are right, that is just a horrible song and why would I even pick that? What was I even thinking? Geez, Gary don’t you have a brain? I can go that route. I can go the anger route and say what does these people know? Do they even have a radio show? Have they ever done radio in their life? Who are they to tell me about how to run the radio show? How to do my show? That’s two different routes I can take but I choose to take the third route, I want to explain this to you and again I know I’m really using the radio stuff here but it’s the same thing. Criticism is criticism and we’re all going to get criticized and here’s my route. I listened. I listened intently, I listened carefully to understand what is it that they’re trying to say. Now number one, it wasn’t necessarily a personal attack but even– let’s just assume for the sake of argument, for the sake of what we’re talking about that it was a personal attack, let’s just pretend that they were mad at me. They don’t like me, they don’t like my show, they didn’t like what I said.
Regardless, what I’m going to do and this took some training for me to do it. Took me some time to really get to this place here I just sit back and listen. I put my feelings aside put them on the shelf here just for a second and really hear what they’re saying. Even if they’re taking a shot at me I want to understand fully what they said. So I am going to let’s separate, let’s pretend that they called me names they said, “Aw Gary you’re a fool, your show is foolish” I’m going to take those comments and put it aside and I want to kind of sift through what they said. They said too many Bible verses and didn’t like introduction music, fine. I have to really think and put myself in their shoes. Let me think about how many Bible verses I put out in the last show, it was quite a few. It was definitely quite a few. Well, I took a look and it is definitely quite a few and I can see how somebody could feel lost in all those Bible verses. I was going back to back to back, no, my intention was to give you all that I can because that’s just the way I think. I want all of it, all at once. Just give it to me I’m going to me and I’ll sift through and I’ll figure it all out and not everybody is like that. I have to realize that, so do you see what I just did? I took their criticism whether it was supposed to be negative or not. I don’t think it was just for the record but I have to sift through that and say. We’ll wait a minute, there is something important here what if? Let’s just assume maybe their brand new, they don’t know the Bible. Maybe I need to slow down a little bit and maybe do some better explaining, great. So, do you see what I did there? I took what they said and even if it was supposed to be negative, I turn it into the positive. I turn it into a positive criticism regardless of where they were coming from. I’m going to take that and really put that on the shelf and say wait a minute maybe I need to explain myself a little bit better. So, note taken.
Now as for the introduction music, I’ve heard that from other people too. So now that’s making me think, “well wait a minute, maybe the introduction music needs to be changed”. So since then, what I’ve done is I’ve actually talked to a couple people. I don’t know if it’s going to make it for this show but probably for the next show. Hopefully, we’re going to have some new music which I can’t wait for. I’ve actually been waiting for it the introduction music speaking of which, I’ve never even really liked from the beginning but that’s all we can do. It’s all of the copyright issues. There’s so many hoops you have to jump through for music, it’s pretty ridiculous. So, there were radio issues, there was other music I had chosen. That’s what it really is, I had chosen other music but there were copyright issues. I wouldn’t to be able to use it on the radio station, so we had to go with the song that we have for the moment and that it is what it is. We just have to do the best we can with what we have but I do have somebody working on new music and I can’t wait to get it. I think we will get it by next time but notice what I did. I took criticism and I really just thought about it. I just really took it in and well wait a minute. What is this person trying to say? why would they go out of their way to tell me and criticize me? And look, there are some and I’ll give you another example after this for criticism but this one actually gave me some substance to work with. It’s hard to do, it’s hard to do because my emotions are feeling hurt.
I think it’s easy for anybody to take that personally. So, be aware of the criticism, it doesn’t matter how ugly or bad it is take it, learn from it and it’s all for the purpose of growing and I have to come back to what my goal is for this show, the goal is number one to do God’s will but number two is to find a way for this show to bless you. And you know, I listen to a lot of podcast, a lot of radio shows and I’m actually very bothered and maybe this is part of the inspiration that God put on my heart is that there’s a lot of shows and then some really big ones and famous ones and I feel like they take the entire time and say nothing and perhaps part of the inspiration is that I don’t want to spend the entire time saying nothing. I remember I’ve listened just recently. I’ve listened to a whole bunch of shows, 30 minute, 40-minute, hour-long shows and I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, I don’t even get a golden nugget in here, you know I got nothing. I got maybe a flake or two in an hour. In an entire hour, you get nothing but a flake? of something that I can use in my life? that’s pretty sad to me. So, maybe that’s part of the inspiration, so I have to go back to that goal. Wait a minute, I want to make sure what I’m giving to you guys are not just, not just bubble gum, not just cotton candy. I want to give us some substance, I want to give us some meat, some spiritual meat, spiritual vegetables. Something you can take and go home and take it for your week and run with and perhaps even move you and change and transform your life, that’s powerful. That’s what the Word of God did for me, so I guess that’s part of what I want for you. Is that it has really moved and changed and helped me grow in ways that I could never imagine. So, I hope I’m doing that for you. If I’m not again, let me know. I want to hear your criticism go to “finallyaliveradio.com” and click on Contact Us and I’m willing to hear it all. I want to hear it and look I might even put it on the air. Just for the sake of, it’s great for all of us to learn from.
Now, let me give you another example of criticism. A person sent me an e-mail, you know I’ve been a Christian for over 30 years and this stuff is pretty basic stuff. I don’t need this stuff and they said I’m not listening to your show. Okay, that’s fine. Now, was there something that I can use there? Was it something productive? Something I can use to grow? To a degree, yes but on the other hand, no. really all they did was put down the show and how it wasn’t helping them. There’s going to be some cases where I can’t help everybody, the show is not going to be for everybody. Sometimes it’s going to be very basic and sometimes it’s going to be a little bit more advanced. I want to keep it somewhere in the middle there, hopefully it won’t be too advanced but advanced enough for you to feel like you’re getting some sort of spiritual meaning, something that’s going to challenge your mind. That’s what I really want, something to challenge and spark thought. I think that’s one of the most important things here and if you can get that, great, now, for this person, who was criticizing the show and saying, “It is basic and I don’t like this and I’ve been a Christian for so many years. This is nothing, I’m even unsubscribing” okay fine. “I’m never listening to the show again.” Okay fine, you’re allowed to. Some people need to walk away and that’s okay. That’s totally fine, nothing against the person. It’s not for everybody. Can you find a way to do that in your life? Can you find a way for the people who? and not that this person was trying to be toxic or anything or trying to be purposefully rude; maybe they’re just upset about the show. It could be, it’s fine, it’s not for everybody. But, can you find a way to let this go? I have to keep some things basic enough but I do want to put some more advanced things in the show. What do I do with that? as of right now, nothing. But it’s in the back of my mind if I get enough people saying, “oh your show is too basic” then guess what we’re going to go ahead and up the ante a little bit but I don’t want to leave people behind either you know some people are brand new to the show. I’ve also gotten other comments about how some of the things you talked about in the show really was a blessing, it helped me so much. It was just basic stuff and that’s great. It’s basically quite honestly. We can’t walk away from the basics so I can’t throw away the basics, that’s the A.B.C.’s.
So, if I run away from the A.B.C.’s and what are we doing? just talking about advanced stuff isn’t always going to be fruitful, so we have to be aware. We have to be sensitive to everybody here but, can you take that? Can you take criticism and see which one is a blessing which one? Is it going to help you? And just use that and then the other stuff you can put on the shelf and/or throw it away. If its name calling personally I just throw it away you know people can say, ah you know I don’t like the way you look, I don’t like your shirt, I don’t, I don’t like your hair and that’s all minimal stuff. That’s just personal shots and look you don’t have to like what a person looks like. Look what is it about the substance? That’s the most important thing to me, he substance again I wanted to thank you for listening to Finally Alive Radio. It means a lot to me and I want to make sure that you are getting blessed from the show, that’s an incredibly important thing for me.
So, I want to bring up another common topic that I have heard in counselling sessions in you know even in church or other places. Many sermons have been preached about this topic and I’ll put in a question form here and the question is how can you have faith, if you’re afraid? And I’ve heard many preachers preach this saying that, “There is no way that a person can have faith and fear, faith and fear opposites. You cannot have them both; either you’re afraid or you have faith. It’s one or the other, you cannot have both and if you have both then really you’re just afraid” it’s a pretty powerful statement to make. And I can only imagine what’s going through this person’s mind. I’ve seen it and hear people struggling with this and thinking to themselves, “I want to do right by God.” How am I going to do right by God If I’m afraid? Is because if I’m afraid, I’m not having faith in that. Is that or isn’t that the most basic thing? Isn’t that the only requirement for salvation? And it is faith but how does that work with fear? How can I have faith and fear? I don’t want to do wrong by God here, I don’t want to disappoint God. I don’t want to do him wrong, that’s the one last thing I want to do; is disappoint God. Who want to disappoint God? I don’t think anybody does. Then you read a verse like 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” so if God didn’t give us the spirit of fear then where is that coming from? Is it Satan? Is it just pure evil that’s in my heart? Does that mean I’m following Satan if I’m afraid? What does that mean? Does that mean I trust in Satan? these are the thoughts that come to some people’s mind. I’ve seen it here, faith and fear. It’s such a difficult thing, it’s such a struggle. It’s so difficult. How do we make sense of all this? and after all, don’t all the strong Christians live this way? In faith and never being afraid. That’s a typical thought. If there’s anything to prove here, it’s that I have faith. I’m not afraid and if I’m afraid then I’m going against God because as a 2 Timothy 1:7 say, If I’m afraid, then I must not have faith. What does that mean for me? What does it mean for my salvation? And what a scary thought, huh? I felt an article to go along with what we’re saying here and the article it’s from gotquestions.org.
I generally speaking– I like what they say but let’s take a look at what they’re saying here. So, the question is faith versus fear, what does the Bible say? And part of the answer here is faith and fear cannot exist together. Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as being certain of what we do not see. So, wait a minute even this article here is telling me that faith and fear cannot exist together. In fact, that’s the first sentence here. It goes on to say, “On the other hand fear simply stated is unbelief or weak belief.” Wow, Powerful. “As unbelief gains the upper hand in our thoughts fear takes hold of our emotions our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith which is the very opposite of unbelief” they go on to say “the more we learn about God, the more we can see him working in our lives and the stronger our faith grows. In the Psalms, we see a picture of David, who like us experience times of fear” Psalms 65:3 reveals his faith with these words, ” when I’m afraid, I will trust in you. God takes each one of us through fearful situations and as we learn to obey God’s word and allow it to saturate our thoughts. We find each trial becomes a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper faith.” Now lots of things are being said there than that, that makes this even more scary doesn’t it? So the counsellor brings in that article to me and now they’re filled with dread, it’s not even fear anymore. Now, it’s a dread. Another article written by Eric Redmond, “four reasons why Christians have nothing to fear”. He uses Hebrews 2:14 and 15, so it’s going to read that. It says, “Therefore since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise also partook of the same that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death. That is the devil and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives”. So, he’s using fear as if we’re a slave to that. So he says, “the first reason we have nothing to fear is because Jesus has identified with us in order to defeat the devil”. Okay, true and then he says, “we have nothing to fear because Jesus in identifying with us delivers us from the fear of death” all right and then he says, “we have nothing to fear because Jesus has identified with us to diffuse the divine wrath. We are identified as brothers of Jesus truth by virtue of divine adoption”. Pretty powerful. He goes on to number four, he says, “we have nothing to fear because Jesus has identified with us to divert our discursion. It’s because he endured the cross with our sin and God’s wrath upon him. He knows death better than anything. It is then time to run to Jesus who was able.” Totally agreeable it makes sense now again. Perhaps you as a counselee, you read these things and these are articles of people brought to me and then read these things and are thinking to themselves; okay I’m supposed to have no fear and here I’m going to do my best. I’m going to go 100%. I’m going to go to church more, I’m going to act happier, I’m going to act more positive. Maybe, I want to be more of an encourager. I’m going to encourage people to really practice my faith, maybe you become a deacon or a helper in church. You’re living and walking the faith because now your fearless right?
So you’re trying to walk this, it’s not all fake until you make it that kind of thing. Some people do that too and okay fine. So maybe, maybe this person does that and they’re just trying to fake it till they make it because perhaps now they can do it and now they’re doing it for days and weeks and maybe months and probably if they can for years or just faking it and then it happens that bad news happens. That bad news, that bad thing, the thing you hope that would never happen, happens. After all, that faith talk, after all that walking, encouraging and helping and doing everything that you could you finally break. That thing that scares you to death happens. Now. you’re overwhelmed with fear, you’re anxious, you’re worried, you’re panicking, maybe having panic attacks and what goes through your mind? All the Bible verses, all those articles we just read and you think it may be true self, I thought I was fearless and I memorized the bible verses so how can I still have fear? I confess my sins I did all these things, where did this fear come from? Then, maybe the next thought being maybe, I’m doing this wrong, did I miss something? That’s how is their faith I was I thought I was I was faithful and I was I was chanting “no fear, no fear.” Maybe I should have prayed more maybe I had to be more faithful, maybe be more involved in church or-or help others or give to charities or help the poor or something. Oh my gosh, what if I never had faith? Because remember faith and fear cannot co-exist that’s what all the article said. That’s what my pastor said I mean even Warren weir’s be in his book, “be obedient learning the secret of living by faith” he says, “when you are in the place of God’s choosing you don’t ever need to be afraid for faith and fear cannot dwell in the same heart” and he cites Isaiah 12:2, Mark 4:40 “the fear of God is the fear that conquers every fear but the fear of man brings a snare” and Warren Weirs B I mean he’s a top dog right I mean if you know who he is and he even says this?
Now maybe you’re back in the despair mode and thinking, “Oh my gosh all this all this faith talk didn’t do anything and now I’m even more scared because faith and fear just like Warren Weir’s was saying faith and fear cannot dwell in the same heart. You tried it you tried to live it you thought this was the good ideal thing to do and it still had a shortcoming. Now what do I do? What do we do with this issue now? Let me give you what the answer is here. I don’t believe faith is the opposite of fear or you cannot have faith and fear I believe you can’t have faith unless you have fear let me say that again. I don’t believe you can have Faith without Fear and that’s what I’m going to explain to you Do me a favour go to finallyaliveradio.com you can actually download this show so you can listen to it again I think it’s going to be a very helpful show and while you’re there let me know what you think of the show I want to know if this is blessing you know okay? Well first off, let me start off and I kind of built it all up for you to show you what you know many people have gone through many Christians have gone through and I want to show you where the fallacies are. I’ll give you the answers right up front I’ll give you the shortcut clips notes here. Typically most of the time it’s reading a verse out of context almost all the time for example let’s go back to second Timothy 1vs 7, I read, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” and I’m going to pull that up here and that’s 2 Timothy 1 and that starts off with that we have to read a couple verses above that now here’s my stance on just about every time when we read Bible verses I do this in sermons at church.
I try– generally speaking if you’ve heard me speak at church or anywhere else generally speaking I’m going to read a few verses, not just one verse, rarely will I read one verse but usually I try to read a couple verses maybe before and or after or all the above for the sake of context. It’s easy to read one verse take that verse and run with it and then see it doesn’t work because it was taken out of context so that said I’m going to go to 2 Timothy 1 vs 3 and that says, “I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day” and by the way this is Paul speaking to Timothy verse four, “longing to see you even as I recall your tears so that I may be filled with joy for I am mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.” Let me read that part again, “for I am mindful of the sincere faith within you where did his faith come from? Where did he learn faith? Which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am sure that it isn’t you as well.” Paul obviously knows who Tim’s mom and grandma are, Dad we don’t know where he is at this point you know we’re just talking about them we’re just talking about Lois and Eunice. But Paul knows where his faith started sounds like he had a pretty good grandmother and a good mother to show him what faith is the number six says “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands for God has not given us a spirit of it says fear but another word this version and the S.P. version says, “the spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline so maybe it wasn’t that Tim was afraid and by the way nowhere here does Paul say oh well you cannot have faith and fear he did he’s just saying that’s not from God that’s all.
But he knows he has it in him Paul is saying I know you have it in you I know you have that heart of faith I know your grandma and your mom I know you were raised understanding what faith is and all he’s saying is look I know you feel timid maybe you feel afraid but walk in from all eternity. He’s not saying you’re going to go to Hell he’s not saying any of that stuff he’s just saying you’ve already got this in you kid walk in that you’ve already you already know how to do this just walk in it now that’s all he’s saying. He’s not condemning him you see when we read some of the context there. Look at look at verse eight the next verse he says, “therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me his prisoner but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God who has saved us and called us with the holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which is granted in Jesus Christ.
He’s talking more about being timid he’s saying look go out there don’t be ashamed just go out there and do what you’ve got to do. He’s not putting him down he’s not saying you can’t have faith and fear he’s just saying look you’ve already got the faith just walk in it son just walk in it. Maybe you feel timid maybe you have your fearful moments and that’s okay. Look I’m telling you fear and faith work together in let me give you an analogy to help you with this. And this is the typical analogy I like to give imagine I tell you walk on that bridge over there walk across it I know it has a thousand-foot drop and maybe you’re afraid of heights I know. I want you to walk across that bridge and you walk up the bridge and you look at a number one you see the thousand foot drop there and then you look at the bridge and you can hear it creaking and cracking it’s already shaking every time the wind hits it and you look a little bit closer you see the ropes they’re old, you know a hundred-year-old rope and that look like they’re just going to fall apart some parts look like it’s a string holding it together you know like the typical movie scary bridge right they said, “No, no, trust me, trust me walk across that you’re going to make it across.”
You look at the bridge and it’s normal 100% normal for you to feel fear in fact I would be worried if you didn’t feel fear. If you didn’t feel fear, there’s something wrong with the emotions on the inside saying the because the alarms need to be going off why aren’t the alarms going off? It’s a rickety bridge it looks like it’s going to fall apart with the next strong gust of wind why wouldn’t you be afraid? You better be but then I say, “Look trust me I’ve done it I’ve walked across it trust me you’re going to make it across. Now here is where faith kicks in in the Old Testament the word faithfulness like in Genesis 32:10 it says the word faithfulness. In the Hebrew it’s the word Emmett. And when you translate that word it’s the it’s the idea of not just faithfulness but also of loyalty, look if you can be loyal with you know to your boss but you can still have fear. Oh boy, I hope he’s making the right decision but I’m going to be loyal I’m a stand by his side or her side you can stand by your spouse you may be worried that they may they might make the wrong decision but you still stand by them loyalty that’s the idea of Emmett Old Testament faithfulness. Now in the New Testament I want to read Galatians 3 v 22 and just one verse just for the sake of the purpose I’m trying to get you to hear. It says,” but the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe,” now that’s interesting I thought faith and belief were the same thing well apparently they’re not they’re close but they’re not the same so let’s explain faith and let’s explain what believing is and I am going to give you the Greek words again I’m a big fan of the original languages. I want to do my absolute best to not just give you what I think it means I’m going to do everything that I can humanly to give you what the word actually means from their perspective and how do you do that? You have to understand the context, the history, the writer and who the writer is talking to and there’s and there’s a gamut of other things you know there’s a whole bunch we’re not going to get into all that. But we have to take into account all of that you’ve got to realize what I’m what I’m reading at a Galatians is about 2000 years old. I can’t just take it and make it just personal just for me then I’ll be taking out of context so I have to be careful of that. With that said let’s look at what it says here so it says, “so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” Let’s take the first word it says faith that word in the Greek is Pistaos or the root is pistos.
The word faith better understood or probably be to win over or to persuade. So, let’s go back to a rickety bridge and I tell you, “hey, have faith in what I’m telling you go and go across the bridge trust me what am I doing? I’m persuading you. I’m trying to win you over okay? And that’s what faith is when you walk in that I won you over has nothing to do with fear you can still have fear remember like Old Testament Emmet, loyalty you can still be loyal to me and go across that bridge holding on for dear life because you’re afraid of what might happen regardless you’re still walking it. So, do you see, you can literally be on the bridge walking across that bridge with a thousand-foot drop with faith because you’re one I won you over I persuaded you to walk it because now you’re really trusting me and still afraid now the other word where it says, “might be given to those who believe” the word believe is the word [unintelligible 35:39] which the word is [unintelligible 35:41]. Sometimes the word is translated faith of the better translation for the specific word would be “to believe” so what is the difference between having faith and believing? Believing is a lot more absolute. So, back to our rickety bridge you had faith in what I said I said because you were persuaded by what I said and you are going across the bridge now let’s say you make it across the bridge and you’re on the other side looking at me from the other side you don’t have faith anymore now it’s pistaiod now you believe me it’s a lot more absolute to see it’s a lot more concrete. So, before you made it you had you had fear as you’re walking it you have faith and fear when you walked across the bridge a made it over now you believe me because oh yeah, what Gerry said was true I believe it now, I see it. I’ve literally seen it now look I’m telling you don’t worry about having fear you cannot have faith without fear faith is doing something that sometimes feels or and or looks impossible to you.
I mean you can’t tell me that Old Testament Moses when they’re going to cross the Red Sea and you’ve got a bunch of soldiers coming from Egypt after you to kill you! You can’t tell me you’re going to be totally calm with that Moses had to have fear. But he walked in faith he had faith in God’s word he raises his arms and the sea spreads and they go across that sea they all had to have some sort of faith there to walk across that sea looking at the wall of water that could actually swallow them literally as they’re as they’re walking across it. So faith and fear they go hand in hand know Proverbs 1 v 7 says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Did you hear what I said? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. How is it possible to have the fear of the Lord and not and not have faith? Then do you see how fear and faith go hand in hand? You have to have fear in the idea of fear here is the word yaray. Yaray in the Hebrew the– this word is not just fear but also reverence or respect so when you have respect for the Lord, that’s the beginning of knowledge so you’ve got to you’ve got to actually have respect for God and you can’t have faith without that respect and even really the healthy fear. You got to realize… I really don’t understand how these how these ministers do this but sorry I’m going to rant for a second here but it gets under my skin because the truth is you have to have fear. Look, if you’re at an edge of a cliff and you look down and you don’t get that feeling inside where, “ Ohhh. Back up back up back up” if you don’t get that feeling I think we have issues. I would consider that healthy fear. You know if someone came into the into a counselling session and said, “oh yeah you know I have no fear of anything I’m already wondering what’s going on here” how is it possible that you have zero fear of anything? That’s impossible it’s one thing to say, “oh, you know I could be afraid or I can have some fear but you know I’ll manage or all do my best with it but to say I have absolutely no fear.
You know if there’s a gun in your face you know our poor veterans who come back from war why do you think they get P.T.S.D. it’s post-traumatic stress disorder? Why do you think that happens? Because of all the adrenaline, all the fear, all the things that they saw it haunts them in and I love you guys and God bless you guys for what you guys have done. I have so much respect for our veterans and you know God bless you guys really. I don’t think you guys are treated fairly just for the record that’s my take on that but I hope that. I hope that things will improve and I hope that the V.A. begins to treat you guys the way you guys deserve to be treated with honour and respect so God bless you guys. But why do you think they have P.T.S.D.? Why do you think they suffer these things? Well part of it if not a lot of it is fear it’s understandable they should have that feeling I mean if you’re in war you’re going to feel that way totally understandable. So, to say that you have no fear at all and only have faith it doesn’t logically make any sense in Philippians chapter 2 vs.1 says, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion make my joy complete by being of the same mind maintaining the same love united in spirit intent on one purpose do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” and then it goes on, “bringing up Jesus” verse five have this attitude, “in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God did not regard him equally with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself taking the form of a bondservant and being made in the likeness of men .
Being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross for this reason also God highly exalted him in skipping to verse 12 it says, “so then my beloved just as you have always obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Should I repeat that part? “Work out your own salvation” by the way, if you’re writing this down it’s Philippians 2 v 12. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” The Greek word here for fear it’s phobias. What word Does that sound like in the English? Phobia. Work out your own salvation in phobias, in fear. You know what kind of fear that is? I’ll give you a couple synonyms here looking it up in the in selects cons intimidating, fear, alarm fright and of course reverence and respect a terror. A Terror that’s a synonym to this word here work out your own salvation in terror? Well here’s the idea it’s not just some you know be deathly afraid but the ideas have so much respect for God, that you’re actually afraid of doing him wrong that’s the idea you work out your own salvation that way you have to have fear, fear of doing God wrong think about that if you have no fear, there’s no alarms on the inside, there’s no alarms going off.
You need the alarms to keep you inline that’s just the way it is parents, parents and we as parents put fear in our children healthy fear for them not to go the wrong way not to go on the wrong path these are important things where there is healthy fear and we’re talking about the healthy fear healthy fear is okay you work out your own salvation in that fear and trembling, trembling what do you do? Are you trembling when you have a ton of faith? No.
And how much how much faith is required? Jesus says, “a mustard seed of faith” a mustard seed. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a picture of a mustard seed but it’s tiny probably one of the smallest seed that exists so like you stand in that you stand in fear because that’s where the faith is going to show up here’s your action of faith it’s not faith your action of Faith is taking that first step take your first step. Yeah, it’s scary yeah you’re uncomfortable of course but you’re walking in faith that’s what walking in faith is even though everything inside of your brain is saying, “no this can’t happen or it’s not going to work or I’m going to fall or it’s going to fall apart I still walk.” That’s faith that is faith that’s what we walk in. You know I’ve helped those in counselling who are so deathly afraid of facing that person in their life that had done them wrong in the past but trusting you know in God first trusting you know in the counsel that that I’m giving them being led of the Lord, of course, they face their fear we use that sentence all the time they faced their fear. You facing your fear you have to do them faith because you don’t know what’s going to happen after that right? So the best you have is being persuaded be moved but then once you approach it and you conquer it now you’ll believe you’re believer at that point but I know I’ve counselled I do that you know I on a daily basis.
I’ve helped those I remember one instance where the person was just deathly afraid of facing that person who had done them wrong who would abuse them actually that’s what was the case there, and in that particular case the answer was let’s go confront them not lets you go confront them and of course the reaction is, “oh how can I do that that scares me, I’m getting sweaty just thinking about it I’m so is I’m so scared.” I know you are it’s supposed to be scary but experiment with it see what happens when you face your fear it has to make sense and I’m not saying that every single person has to go confront to that person. I would say most of them are that case but some are in some aren’t. So, the rest that story goes they face the person they were dreading it they were absolutely dreading it they go and confront the person, they tell him what happened, they tell him how they felt, they did it they faced it. They left and started laughing and I asked the person” why did you laugh after you left?” they said, “it was scarier walking in but the moment I just started talking I feel like the fear just went away” and I said, “Exactly.” Exactly you walked in faith but as you’re crossing your bridge as you were crossing the bridge you started to have more and more belief. See, God doesn’t take away the fear you got to walk and as you’re walking God helps remove the fear maybe in some cases the fear will not go away until your last step but regardless you’re going to have to go through the steps anyway you’ve got to take your step. There’s healthy fear and then there’s unhealthy fear. We want to make sure to deal with the unhealthy fear and the way you deal with unhealthy fear is you face it; you face your fear you have to but when you’re doing that you’re literally walking in faith that’s what that is you’re walking in faith. So, when it says, “Do not be afraid” well yeah that’s your comfort doesn’t be afraid you’re going to be afraid but do your best. Do your best with that you know we can read Bible verses like we have Jesus talking about you know don’t be anxious for tomorrow don’t worry about tomorrow but we do.
You’re going to, you’re human. I’m not disagreeing with Jesus obviously, I totally agree. Let’s not worry but how do I turn that off? Ah, with tons of Faith. No, no some things are scarier than other things look you get bad news from the hospital don’t tell me you’re not going to be afraid, don’t tell me your brain is going to go into panic mode. That’s normal, that’s normal. But the moment you go back to God and say all right Lord I don’t know what to do with this, help me with this. Heal me or whatever the case is, you just walked in faith. You just proved who you trust in. So that whole faith and fear thing it works together it works hand in hand. You remember that verse in Luke 22:44? It says, “And being an agony, he was praying very fervently” speaking of Jesus, “and Jesus was praying fervently and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down upon the ground” You know that’s called? That’s called hematohidrosis, sweating blood there’s actually been other reports of people sweating blood. There’s a report of a soldier of sweating blood and obviously Jesus sweating blood, it’s a rare occurrence but it happens. Apparently they have reports of this and two things that can cause hematohidrosis says is excessive exertion or excessive physical or mental effort or psychogenic, having a psychological origin or a cause rather than a physical one. So something in the mind, is it possible that Jesus was mentally freaking out literally knowing in an in a few minutes after this prayer I’m going to be taken away by a bunch of soldiers, beaten half to death and then crucified he knew this he knew it was coming he talked about it before it happened he told the disciples before it even happened you know that?
He told them, “hey there’s going to a time up, they’re going to take me away. They’re going to they’re going to kill me” he says that excessive exertion and psychogenic these are two main causes of hematohidrosis, sweating blood. Jesus himself was afraid he had to be he was he was human remember? He’s human enough to feel in quite honestly if that didn’t happen I wonder. But apparently it happens and this is Jesus right this is the one who’s talking about having faith he himself was sweating blood that mean he had no faith? No. That’s a healthy fear he knows he’s about to go through one of the worst things ever and back then they were excellent at torturing people they’re not like today you know waterboarding as bad as that is Back then they would literally cut she and beat you I mean in if you’ve seen The Passion of the Christ. I don’t even think that gives you the whole gamut of what actually happened to Jesus. I appreciate the movie but I hated it because it was just so gory but you got to appreciate to see oh my gosh is this what Jesus went through? I don’t think so; I think he went through worse quite honestly but I think it’s something to be aware of. Jesus himself was afraid but he still walked his walk. He was faithful, he believed. He knows what was going to happen, he just didn’t like what was going to happen and can blame him so why not take a lesson here from the page of Jesus? Doesn’t matter how afraid you are, face your fear. Face what you need to face and you’re going to get through it. It’s usually scarier in the mind than it is in the course not all the time but many times be aware of that.
I want to end with an article I found this is from Proverbs31.org Ariel Longhorn says and she quotes Deuteronomy 31: 6 she says, “Be strong and courageous do not be afraid or terrified because of them for the Lord your God goes with you he will never leave you nor for sake you” she goes on to say, “Our paediatrician told me that my baby had a collapsed lung the baby I had given birth to just an hour earlier. Courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith.” I’m going to read that again she says that she is quoting this from something, “courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith.” I really like that I like that. “The trauma started the previous evening when my doctor declared that I needed to get to the hospital immediately. A series of sonograms and tests revealed that my son was in distress and dangerously underweight. We had to deliver a soon as possible. We walked through the door of the hospital afraid that our worst fears were about to become reality, faith did not come naturally in that moment.” Ladies and gentlemen, that’s totally normal. What this poor woman went through totally is normal. She goes on to say, “I would have preferred that courage meant, I wouldn’t fear the path that laid before me but know my path would involve hours and then days learning the ins and outs of oxygen tubes, I.V.’s and heart rate monitors.
I would learn terms like spontaneous pneumothorax and the dreaded pneumonia. My path contained a great deal of fear. It is no wonder that God had to remind us in Deuteronomy 31: 6, which I just read not to be afraid, “fear it seems is a natural reaction when we face a challenge whether it is being led through the desert into the Promised Land or being rushed to the hospital for an emergency delivery. We spent five days in the hospital with our tiny son and each day God took a little of our fear and replaced it with faith” just like we were saying earlier. I’m going to read that part again, “each day God took a little of our fear and replaced it with faith. It’s okay for you, my friends. It’s okay for you to feel fear but notice what happens God as you’re walking your walk, God will find ways to replace that fear with faith. I have wondered since if our stay in the hospital was as much for my healing as my son’s, thankfully God healed us both. Be strong God said and courageous, we can do this because he has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He stands with us in battle and he sits with us who hold the tiny hand of a new-born baby in the intensive care unit. He never leaves our side, never.” I really like that article I don’t like the topic, that’s heart-breaking and I pray that her and her family are okay now and Ariel you are in our prayers here but I love what she says, “Courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith.”
In overtime God replaced that fear with faith but she had to walk, she had to face her fear. She could not just sit there, laying aside and saying, “oh I’m just so afraid” and just stop no you have to get up and walk as dreadful and as terrifying as that sounds and that is face your fear. Whatever that is, what happened to you in the past? What you have gone through in the past? It’s time for you to face it, it’s time for you to look at it in the eye; even figure to be speaking and tell it what it needs to hear. You’re important, you’re important to God. God does love you. Of course the question is where’s he? He’s there. The question is, are you walking to see him? Are you walking your faith are you walking in fear in fear and trembling? As well we read in Philippians when you walk, you will see God but you have to walk. God already knows what’s going to happen, this is for you. In your growth, you understand that? It’s very difficult to grasp this sometimes but the growth is for you not for God. God already knows the answer; he already knows what’s going to happen. You walk, you get up, you face your fear and watch God. I challenge each and every one of you guys to walk and watch God to come through. In fact, after you do that, email me. I want to hear the testimonies of what God did in your life. Go to finallyaliveradio.com, click on contacts and message me. Let me know, tell me everything. I will read it on the air. I want to know what happened, I want to know how God walked in your life. See, I can’t convince you of this. I can’t convince you, God exists. I can give you all the facts but doesn’t mean you’re going to believe. You’ll have to actually walk and experience God yourself, there’s no other way. there’s no other way, it’s like me trying to describe love to you. It’s not going to happen you have to live it, experience it and see it for yourself to see how real this is. You go walk your walk in fear and watch God transform that fear into faith. Now go and do what you’ve got to do, God bless you.
What did you think of the show? Leave a reply below!