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When Jesus Said Do Not Be Afraid

Christian Martin
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Christian Martin

Lead Pastor of the Living Hope SDA Church in Haymarket, Virginia.



  • March 21, 2020
    12:00 PM
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Good morning everyone and welcome welcome as you join us to gether in this time of worship and though the church lowercase c. is empty the church capital c. throughout the world continues to worsen our Creator from wherever you may be and so whether you're around the breakfast table in the West Coast or you're in your living rooms in the East or if you're in your bathroom is at the end of the day in the Far East wherever you may be goths presence is with you as it is with us and you know even though the church has left the building the body of Christ continues to worse in spirit and in truth and so we as we gather around the word of God and prepared to open the Scriptures and by 2 to pause and bow your heads with me as we pray together just now our Father in heaven truly Lord Your word is indeed living and powerful and today Lord right now the very moment I prayed that you would be your words that I speak that it would be your words and that they would not return to you void but that your words would accomplish your purpose and that it would give us courage and hope in this time of need and so we thank you that your presence is here with us in Jesus' name amen you know it's a frightening time for all the world. And for our country in particular as news agencies have confirmed that we are now the country with the most reported possible pieces of code 19 in the entire world and to us yesterday 402 deaths were reported you know for this reason for this reason alone we find ourselves in a country in a world that is crypto with fear gripped with fear and for this reason we are strongly encouraged and in some cases mandated by state and national authorities to isolate ourselves and to just stay home yet the deaths per day particularly in the last 3 weeks continue to climb drastically on a daily basis and who would have thought just 3 months ago when we were celebrating New Year's Eve In fact at New Year's Eve This past 3 months ago it was a very popular theme to celebrate the roaring twenty's it was a throwback to the early 20th century and who would have thought that today we'd be in the midst of a roaring worldwide pandemic with cities and entire countries shutting down. We find ourselves throughout the day costly looking at our devices trying to find out what is going on we're looking at headlines we're reading articles we're watching conference briefings coming from the White House and a new and we're trying to tune in to be able to get answers to the question what is going to happen next and for many people the uncertainty the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle We just don't know exactly what to expect and how bad things are going to get we're asking the questions when I could back to work when why pay when will I be able to get my job back why permanently lose my job does the virus really spread with the handling of cash with with gas pumps or shopping carts and and why am I starting to cough this pandemic has the world on edge on a daily basis and the isolation and even the lock downs have cost many people to feel trapped I don't need to tell you today that the world is a scary and uncertain place to live in right now with the dread of severe and and frightening sentiments but I'm not just talking about the symptoms that give us a cough that that goes so bad that it makes us feel nauseated or or the high fever that just saps our energy completely I'm not just talking about those symptoms I'm also talking about the symptom. That many many people are accepting right now and that is the mental impact of fear the mental impact of fear he c fear is sudden as it is for care well it's for example she runs 2 businesses and Portland Oregon and so when the governor ordered all the restaurants to be close in order to contain the corona virus outbreak she had no choice but to lay off several employees at several businesses across the country had to do and that's how we sold her world suddenly collapse nearly without warning she said we have suddenly gone through the worst week ever she said it appears not only sudden but fear is on expected as it was for daydream Wilkens Family Day 3 Wilkins was a 42 year old hospital worker in Georgia one who had no underlining health conditions but he was unexpectedly found dead in her home before you were old full 4 year old child crying next to her body it was later confirmed that she had a corona virus and it's believed she died 12 to 16 hours before she was found. Fear is sudden fear is an expected fear can also be overwhelming as a way of overwhelming us people are panic buying everything from toilet paper to I be profane you go to stores now an entire selves are cleared empty they're dragging masts out of selves as there as if there's no tomorrow and in fact sales so firearms have increase tragically the Us suicide rate has already increased every year for the last 2 decades but now now the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is seeing a spike in volume Dr Mark Gailey He says Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency stated this we originally thought that coded $1000.00 cases would be doubling every 6 to 7 days but now we see cases doubling every $3.00 to $4.00 days in fact Los Angeles cases have tripled in the last 6 days and meanwhile fear continues to be more contagious than the virus were ever be we feared to be laid off we fear to be contaminated we feel to be hospitalized fear is the bully in the neighborhood who lives next door but apart from this global pandemic aside fear comes in different shapes and sizes career dilemma sconce flicks around personal values problems and intimate relationships we fear criticism we fear failure we fear rejection. Then there's the blue van in the forest in the park the part of the street without lights radiation from our cellphones catching asked most from touching that orange plant a whole plethora of bizarre and irrational fears overwhelm us and the question that I ask myself as I observe society around me that is has severe come to define ass of a society. But let me come a little closer to home as Bible believing Christians. Who believe in the power the Holy Spirit and we pray for him often can the fruit of the spirit and fear grow together can they co-exist so in the lives of the Christian can one have joy and be afraid at the same time can we have peace and be filled with dread you know in my years of ministry I have never seen fear calm the storms of life or make anyone dared to attempt great things for God it was Florence Nightingale who said how very little can be done under the spirit of fear but even magine with me if there was such a thing as a fear magnet fear magnet on there forget the day when I was an 8th grader at burden Abin a sick out of me in Arlington Texas and one day I decide to go to school with one of my most powerful largest magnets it was quite heavy and bulky in and out and I stuck that magnet in the front pocket of my jeans. Then during the day I carried it with me in and during one of my classes I walked up to my teacher's desk and as I came closer to his desk I felt an eerie system will pull from below my waist and I found myself suddenly stuck to my teacher's computer case Needless to say I might have done some permanent damage Well years later we still laugh about that but he managed to with me though if we could have a fear magnet of fear magnet and if we could take that magnet it and hovered over our heart it's and remove every saving of insecurity hovered over our hearts every move every saving the fear every saving of dread what would remain of all that was pulled out what would it be like what would it feel like what would life be would would we attempt imagine a life that dares greatly knowing that with Christ I can do all things through him imagine a life that is so fully convinced that God is able to perform that which he has promised imagine imagine a life with no fear that is the possibility that Cheesus seems to hint at with a question that he asked his disciples in the middle of a lake Why are you afraid why are you afraid Will you a little come with me to the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew chapter 8 Matthew Chapter 8 as we take a look at the complete story Matthew Chapter 8 beginning with Verse 23 Matthew chapter a priest when he 3 now when he God into a boat his disciples followed him and suddenly a great tempest a rose on the sea so that the boat was covered with the waves Let's stop there for a moment I've been to the Sea of Galilee it was a beautiful place the sea itself which is actually a lake is about 64 square miles if I could compare it it would be close to the size of Washington d.c. So it's not very large at all and so fishermen said spend their time at the Sea of Galilee if they ever saw a storm headed their way they would simply wait they would wait until the storm passed through before they would cross this really to least small Lake County other side if they kept their eyes on the cloud it's and if they knew a storm was coming they would wait but this time it was not just any ordinary predictable storm this storm came upon them fast and furious in one moment these experienced fishermen are following Jesus you notice that in verse 23 they're following Jesus into the boat and the very next moment they are hit with a great temp pests. Take a close look at this passage it's very interesting that to me is the Greek word that Matthew uses to describe the storm you see he could have used many other words when writing retelling this account he could have said a rain storm or a shower or downpour but none of these were good enough to describe the terrifying experience that he was writing about so he finally under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he is writing this account he chooses to use the word syce most sites most to describe the storm the words sites months means an earthquake and earthquake it's where we get the word syce more seismologists one who studies earthquakes syce Morrison and s. as a see as you take a look at the Gospel of Matthew you find that there are only 2 instances I can point them out in with one hand 2 instances where Matthew uses that word size small us in his gospel one was at Calvary when Jesus was crucified and the count in Matthew tells us that there was an a great earthquake or syce Morse that took place the other is at his resurrection when the ground shook and there was a mighty earthquake or syce Morse and the stone was rolled away the 3rd time that he uses the word say Small's the 3rd time is higher gospel is right here in the middle of the storm my friends don't miss the big picture. This is a trilogy of Christ's greatest shake ups in the 1st episode Kreiss defeats sin in the 2nd episode Christ conquers death and in the 3rd episode Christ is about to face fear face on this soda is of no little significance the storm catches the disciples of go are they did not expect this but Jesus saw it coming stay with me stay with me they didn't expect this storm but cheeses saw it coming often times fear comes suddenly and it catches us off guard your business begins to lay people off because of this block down you start feeling pain in your body where there should be no pain as a spouse of many years he stumbled upon an email or attacks that blindsight see you see since sailors cried out Lord save us we are Paris. When reading the story here in Matthew Chapter 8 it can be really hard to link the 1st says 23 and 24 did you notice that in verse 23 it says that his disciples followed him and right away in verse 24 and suddenly a great tempest a rose on the sea and one day Jesus had said follow me. And what have the that these men do they dropped everything and followed Jesus but did they understand that what they were getting themselves into did they realize that by following Jesus they were going to come across experiences that would shake them to the core frankly I want to believe that an act of absolute surrender and obedience Azzurri salt and more favorable circumstances. When every this story and quickly read that his disciples followed Jesus Matthew's account in my opinion ought to read and when Jesus got into a boat his disciples followed him in and suddenly a rainbow appeared in the sky in the light of a flight of dumb scheme upon the boat as they floated along the sea of glass but that's not reality in the real world disciples can expect rough seas and the real world following Jesus. Does not always mean that's going to be a tranquil experience in the real world disasters come our way another overseas missionary is diagnosed with cancer a fam a teacher is falsely accused of wrong behavior a young family a young father loses their home another Ressam ace turned down a daughter cannot see her father who is die because she's not allowed to go inside the hospital during this time a single mom is slayed off I met her this week because the restaurant shut down and it was her only income. A close friend or family member or even yourself have been tested positive for Kobe had 19 in the real world disciples can expect rough seas but Jesus Himself said as recorded in John Chapter 16 verse 33 listen to the words of Jesus these things I have spoken to you that in media may have peace in the world you will have tribulation but be of could cheer I have overcome the world it does not say you might have tribulations it does not say then you could have tribulation snow she says said you will have tribulation but while the disciples are screaming cheeses is dreaming when the waves are roaring Well Jesus is snoring Matthew simply says they're in verse $24.00 but Cheesus was asleep mark at his gospel he was sleeping on a pillow now the simple fact that he is sleeping on a pillow or cushion indicates that he was just not dozing off this indicates that she says was very intentional in sleepy you know when we go on travel on trips with my wife it is without exception that my wife Heidi always scraps her Pelosi takes her pillow were ever we go now I don't need to sleep with the pill I can survive without it but now my wife she needs her pillow and it's going to go with us on every trip. And in this account Cheesus evidently brought his pillow along too and he laid it down for the purpose of sleeping this is not an accidental moment he did not just doze off no Jesus went to sleep and not only is the sight of Jesus sleeping unbelievable all but is also troubling to his disciples I mean picture them put yourselves in their place here you are in a white knuckle balled you're swallowing mouthfuls of Galleon water you're fighting for your life and she says a sleepy How can anyone sleep through a sysfs boasts a slice of moss How could anyone do so have you ever gotten real close to fireworks 4th of July you get really close over there launching those fireworks or I've ever attended. A drag race and and there's that engine that fires up it's really louder or have you ever stood very close to a space shuttle launch Cheesus is sleeping through all 3 of these combined and in verse 16 or in the Bible in verse $25.00 the disciples begin to crowd lowered save us we are parachuting to take a close look at this Bible and parallel passages and other gospels the Gospel of Mark adds a very disturbing question records that they asked Teacher. Do you not care that we are perishing Who are these men. Make no mistake about it these are followers of Jesus Christ. They've been following Cheesus day in and day out there with cheese us all day every day and they're asking him point blank do you not care for they need to be reminded of Jesus' track record or his resume do they need to recall would Jesus has done since the day that they begin to follow Him These are men who have witness with their very own Nani's Jesus restoring sight to the blind for those who are crying out for mercy why because he cares here's Jesus cleansing lepers I think curable disease why because he cares she says Ress wrecked in the dead and reuniting them to their families why because she says scarce Jesus cares. Yet in this moment in the precedence of the man Jesus and this is Siple have been witness of his acts of kindness is acts of love he's as acts of caring they ask Do you not care and today millenniums later the same question speaking now yes but in different air God Do you not care God there is people dying every 2 minutes do you not care God The hospitals are running out of medical supplies God do not care the virus is spreading their stats happening on a daily basis and they're climbing do you not care there's people there in distress tempted to commit suicide do you not care for their stats in the cells and still not care do you not care. Notice carefully what fear does to fade. It suffocates it fear literally makes us forget how good God is it causes a soon have spiritual amnesia it doesn't matter how how incredibly miraculous God intervenes in our life in the past fear wipes all that out of our memory in the present as we recall the way that God has been so merciful towards us has loved us with an everlasting love and has demonstrated that in our lives we Carlists of how often he has done that in the past when fear strikes us in the press and grips us we completely forget it would God has done for us fear causes us to doubt God's goodness and question his character no wonder Jesus God with us addresses this often as you read through the Gospels you'll discover that there's a total of 125 imperatives given by Jesus in all 4 gospels commands that he speaks with his very own mouth and that of these $12521.00 of them $21.00 of them are do not fear do not be afraid and only 8 percent for example refer to loving one another. This Soucy that Jesus takes our fears seriously Cheesus came to earth to to to face fear head on Jesus spoke often do not fear do not fear why because we know he knows our journey he knows our journey in life and he takes it seriously fear comes to bully us fear comes to speak lies to our hearts Fear comes to destroy our sound mind but the voice of truth tells us a different story the Christian group Casting Crowns reminds us in song the voice of truth says Do not be afraid the voice of truth says this is for my glory but of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth and in verse 26 Matthew chapter e persue 1006 Jesus says why are you fearful or you have little fish then heroes and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm Paul and it is spring and the Holy Spirit rode in 2nd Timothy Chapter one Verse 7 for God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind now let me be quick to say that the raw emotion of fear fear in it of itself may be good after all its fear that causes us to run out of a burning house its fear that keeps us from from our distance from a drop off fear causes us to be cautious and to be careful but fear. Can also lead us to sin because it can put God completely out of the equation it causes take matters into our own hands and fear can cause us to face circumstances as if God didn't exist but we don't let that we don't need to let fear define our lives hear the voice of Jesus saying Do not be afraid for I am with you and though fear comes suddenly it comes unexpectedly fear overwhelm says she says is never caught off guard tree sis's never caught offguard he has this he's got this and he is in control he still sits on his throne and he is still mighty csa says Do not fear earlier this week I was reflecting on the songs I came across Psalm 23 Psalms 23 is known is as one of the most beloved Psalms in the Bible and as I read this well known song a thought struck me for it says for the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want were quickly taken to an imagery a word picture where we are sheep and cheeses is our good shepherd he leads me besides the still waters I may see peace are separated he leads me to green pastures again I am his sheep and he is my good shepherd he leads me in the path of righteousness I missed see he is my good shepherd in and this imagery speaks tenderly to our hearts but then we come to verse 4. And Psalms 23 where it says but though I know I walk that the Valley of the shadow of death seems to me that sometimes we we find ourselves in verse 4 disconnecting ourselves from this beautiful imagery of a good shepherd with the sheep we find ourselves now walking by ourselves alone having wandered off from the Good Shepherd in and now we find ourselves in the Valley of the shadow of death how did a kid here I wondered off I'm loss why am I here but wait a minute if you take a close look at that passage there's still one larger context and that is that we're still in the arms of the shepherd for the Lord is my shepherd he leads me down the valley of the shadow of death he leads me we're still in the arms of the shepherd though we find ourselves in troubling times that we find ourselves in rough seas but we find ourselves in the Valley of the shadow of tat let us not forget less forever be mindful that we are still in the arms of the Good Shepherd and why are we in this valley because the shepherd is taking us somewhere the shepherd has a destination where he wants to take us there Shepherd knows where he is going we find ourselves caught off guard we would not have chosen this route ourselves but the Good Shepherd knows where he is going and the Lord speaks to us in the midst of the storm do not be afraid you followed me now trust me trust me trust me. And while the news reports may say that we are weeks from peak or preparing for a new server tour or they're predicting there's going to be new hot spots of the coronavirus in our country and around the world the one who is never caught off guard the one who never sleeps nor slumbers the one who says I am with you always he says Do not be afraid do not fear do not fear. There is a children's song that some of you may know I remember singing the song growing up the song says something simply says this with Christ's in the vessel we can smile at the storm as we go sailing by with Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm as sweet ghost sailing by you with Christ in your life. We can smile at the storm with Christ in your life you can be assured of precedence that is stronger and mightier than any support you could ever ask for here on Earth with Christ by your side you can as I did when as I was a young boy 3 years old in the middle of a thunderstorm yet recognizing that my dad was right there by my side I turned around and drifted back to a peaceful sleep and in this story find ourselves in right now the same heavenly Father speaks to you he speaks to me Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid use the Good Shepherd is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is still in control he still might he still sits on the throne and he still says Do not fear how many of you today as we ponder this biblical story as we read this ancient story that was contained in the Word of God so that it would speak to us to day in troubled times I mean if you want to say Jesus I invite you into the vessel of my life she says I invite you into the vessel of my family Jesus I invite you into my home sees us I invite you into the throne of my life in Jesus Jesus in times of storm I will smile in times of storm I will say thank you Jesus and times of storm I will not fear for the hour with me is that your desire here today it's mine it's mine to do by it's together with me as we pray our Father in Heaven Lord Jesus as we read the stories in your word we are reminded that you are the same yesterday today and forever and the words that he spoke to troubled disciples experienced fishermen in the midst of the storms are the same words that you speak to us in the midst of our storm Lord May the words of Jesus speaking do not fear do not fear. Those words speak to our hearts moment by moment at any given day Lord May we look up towards heaven and by faith hear mighty voice speak to us saying Do not fear trust trust. Trust. And this is our prayer and Jesus me. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio. If you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a visit w w w dot audio verse or.


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