Author I read a lot in how to deal with society is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How do you deal with a society that is quickly spinning out of control. Time of great tension in Berlin, Their republic was falling apart. Communism was rapidly spreading with other extremist which caused open fighting in the streets. Message of where do we stand as a church in the midst of this. I want to share with you some of what he shared with his congregation .
- Fear defined.
Fear is a spirit (2 Timothy 1: 7) so there is a power behind it.
- Terrifying loneliness as it separates us from others
- 2. Heavy decision we have to make
- 3. Losing ones job
- 4. Some heavy stroke of fate that comes against us.
- 5. Illness
- 6. Someone coming against us
- 7. Some stronghold In our lives we can no longer resist.
- 8. Disgrace
- 9. Dying
- 10. Bonhoeffer stated it is like a fog that spreads over us with no way out.
2. Dealing with fear
- We become dull and insensitive
- Fill our lives with activities to avoid the thoughts of what is going on around us
- We walk around with gloom and apathy towards others.
- We can become dull toward the cry of those around us
- Problems of our own drown out those whose lives may be way worse.
- Maybe we become noisy in our fear complaining about everything around us
- We become bold surrounding ourselves with those who will build us up
- Fine words and bold fantasies of a better world if we just believe in ourselves.
3. Climb into the boat.
Luke 8: 22 – 25 Let’s climb into the boat.
They were pretty confident when they climbed into the boat because the sea was calm and the winds were low. Conditions looked quite favorable to them
It is easy to battle fear when we are confident in our strength and circumstances.
Bonhoeffer described this as fear in disguise because a spirit of fear can be in us but circumstances disguise it in our lives.
EXAMPLE: fly no problem until a plane somewhere has a problem, suddenly we have that twinge of fear in flying even though the problem was so far from us.
so battling fear has to be more than just our own strength and confidence in the circumstances that surround us because when the storm came more than water climbed into the boat, fear did.
EXAMPLE: sermons on 100 fold harvest, be a lamp that shines, mustard seed that fills the whole garden. Great but when it came down to it it all fled.
4. Storms follow Jesus
Vs 37 don’t be surprised at the storm. Storms follow Jesus
1 Peter 4: 12Dear friends don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad–f or these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering.
THERE IS NO WAY TO LIVE THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT BEING CRUCIFIED.
Flesh and self confidence will always get in the way in our pursuit of Jesus.
5. Christ is in the ship.
Jesus was sleeping because he had total trust in the Father.
Only Faith can sleep because it finds faith in God alone.
The disciples could not sleep because fear destroyed every bit of trust they had.
6. What impresses God
Luke 7: 9 Jesus stood amazed at the faith of the Roman.
How many want to amaze Jesus.
I don;’t want to be ashamed one day when I see God move on our behalf and I am standing there doubting that he could do it.
7. The Work of the Cross
Fear filled prayer that had faith in it because they came to Jesus.
Don’t you care if we are going to drown. No faith in any type of miraculous solution to the problem they are in. BUT they are coming to the master.
They were amazed at the solution that was in front of them
More than overdoing the storm in the world around us, overcome the fear that has gripped us.