Faith—The Cure for Fear
Hello friend, and welcome to Hope for Today. The program you’re listening to is produced by Heralds of Hope. We’re an international Gospel media ministry. Each week our Bible teaching broadcasts circle the globe in English and 22 other major languages. And why do we teach from the Bible? Because the Bible is the only source of lasting hope. It is God’s Holy Word.
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Now, here’s Pastor J. Mark with today’s teaching.
It is certain we all have some fears. We are told by the doctors that we are born with this emotional response, fear. Then we have also developed some fears. Some are good fears, and some are not so good. The good fears protect us from accidents. The not-so-good fears keep us from enjoying life. Many of our fears are without foundation. Often, we are afraid of what will happen, which never happens.
I think one of our most basic fears is stated in this question: “What will happen to me when I die?” That is a good fear, a fear you ought to listen to. I am glad to tell you that fear can be cured. Jesus has a word for us about such fear. His word is found in John 14:1-6.
- Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
- In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
- And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.
- And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
- Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
- Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Yes, my friend, faith can cure fear. In this text, Jesus defined the several QUALITIES of faith which will help to cure fear.
Let us look at the first one: The Reality of Faith.
Faith is a common reality to all of us. We all have faith: faith in something or somebody. It is a part of our person; we are made with the capability of believing. The Apostle Paul, when writing to the Romans, said, “God hath given to every man a measure of faith.”
So, faith is a fact. This reality is a part of our being. The important thing about it is that it needs direction. Just any kind of faith will not be the kind that can cure fear. Faith needs direction, and it is a common reality to all of us.
There must be then a certain reality. I am sure you will agree with me there is a Supreme Being. We all know this to be a fact, a reality. What we need further to accept is the fact of the True God. I don’t know what kind of god you worship. Some of my listeners write to me and ask, “Who is God? How can I know Him?”
I want to point out to you that faith needs direction and that a certain reality must come through to us. We must accept the fact of the True God.
Now, even though you may not know very much about God, perhaps you know very little at this point, I want to insist, my friend, that you must accept this fact, the reality of the True God. This is the first quality of faith to help you cure fear: the reality of faith.
But, beyond the fact of the true God there is a companion reality which is Jesus Christ. The words from John 14:1-6 are the words of Jesus. Here He said, “You believe in God, believe also in me.” We also need this fact: the reality of Jesus. My friend, that must be according to the Bible. You may have your thought or idea about Jesus, but if that does not agree with what the Bible says, it is of little value to you.
Very often, right at this point, we divide. We come to the parting of the way. The reality of faith, my friend, must take in a belief in God and a belief in Jesus to cure the fear of death. That reality can be experienced by believing these words of Jesus.
Faith that can cure fear must have a second quality: The Durability of Faith.
I note that Jesus referred to God’s dwelling place. Perhaps that sounds strange to you, but I want to make sure you understand that God is more than an idea. Some have argued for this. But Jesus speaks of God as having a dwelling place. He calls it “My Father’s house.” Jesus spoke of this. There is a sense in which God can be localized; that is, He has a dwelling place.
The Bible, in other places, refers to heaven being God’s throne and the earth His footstool. Please don’t take this only in a symbolic or poetic sense. Jesus referred to His Father’s house having many mansions. That means God is in a place, an eternal place.
Then there is the declared promise of Jesus, “I go to prepare a place for you.” That is His purpose to do for us. Oh, how precious this is to us! How wonderful to know an enduring faith in this declared promise of Jesus! He said, “I am going to prepare a place for you, and then I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Yes, my friend, that kind of faith can cure your fear.
The promise includes the desired presence of Jesus because He said, “Where I am, there ye may be also.” What a precious, precious promise that is to us. Oh, my friend, this kind of faith can cure your fear of that serious question, “Where shall I go when I die?”
The most effective quality of faith is third: The Personality of Faith.
Here we are getting right down there where it will indeed serve as the cure for fear. There is the sureness of the way, for Jesus said, “You know where I’m going, and you know the way.” That tells me, friend, that we are to follow Him. We cannot find our way. The only way we can know where we are going is when we are following Jesus.
But Thomas, one of His disciples, responded, “Lord, we know not where you are going, and how can we know the way?” Ah yes, Thomas expressed much of my thought, my thought before I came really to know Jesus. Perhaps Thomas expressed your thought, too.
How can we know the way? Now listen, and you will get the security that Jesus gives us by the personality of faith. He answered Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There you have faith clothed in a person. That’s why I have called it the personality of faith.
The affirmation of Jesus is, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Nothing is more needed than this focus of faith on Jesus. He is the way to the Father’s house. Because He is one with the eternal Word, He is truth. We have real life only when we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord. To cure fear, we need the personality of faith in Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
So, my friend, faith can cure fear when it knows these qualities: reality, durability, and personality. Does your faith have these qualities? In like measure it can cure your fear.
At the beginning of today’s teaching, he said, one of our most basic fears is stated in the question, “What will happen to me when I die?” This is a valid question, and we must seriously consider it. It comes down to two options. You can believe it is like the Bible teaches or you can believe the Bible is wrong. Let’s think about these two.
The Bibles says, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” At the judgment we are told there are two groups. The ones on the right who will hear, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: and the ones on the left who will hear those awful words, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Christ has given His life for you! Will you acknowledge your sin and accept His sacrifice? What happens when you die totally depends on what you have done with Jesus while you are alive. This is the Biblical perspective; remember, this was not the only option.
You could believe the Bible is wrong; there are many who have made this choice. Remember, the question is, what will happen to me when I die? If the Bible is rejected, there is no limit to the answers to this question. Some believe it’s over; we are buried, and that is it. Others have planned to meet the aliens in the tale of the comet Hale-Bopp. Still others believe in a Heaven-like place for everybody. When the truth of scripture is taken away, you are free to invent and believe whatever you want. This is the second option we have, and God in His sovereignty allows us to choose that option.
Think again about John 14:6; Jesus did not say He is a way or a truth. He said He is the way and the truth. He said No man comes to the Father but through me. He tells us all we need to know about what will happen to us when we die. Then we need to live by faith. We trust him in this life, and we believe what He tells us about the next.
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Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Pastor J. Mark continues our study from John’s Gospel. You won’t want to miss it. And until then, keep looking to Jesus; He’ll give you hope for today!