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Fud: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

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FUD

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

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Fud: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

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FUD will paralyze us spiritually. Do we recognize it? And how can we find principles to battle FUD.

Transcript

[Mr. Steve Myers]: We live in a world of FUD. Have you heard of FUD? It sounds kind of funny, I know that. No, I'm not talking about Elmer Fudd or any other kind of version of that, but FUD is an acronym and it stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt. And that's the kind of world we live in. And looking into this acronym, it's interesting that FUD was supposedly first used in business. Now, if you can imagine how it might be used, they say it was actually used by salespeople in order to sell their product. Well, how could fear, uncertainty, and doubt sell anything? Well, they would use it to downgrade their competition. And so if someone were considering buying a competitor's product, this salesperson would introduce all the issues that were wrong with the competition in order to make themselves and their product look better. And so they'd get to this sense of fear of doing business with those other guys so you'd buy my product.

And, of course, that's relying on emotions and not really reasoning to make a sale. It wasn't making a sale, it was trying to prevent one from happening. And so that acronym seems to have been begun with that concept. I mean, what a marketing strategy to put down the other guy and cause suspicion and mistrust in order to sell your product, not on its own merits, but by downgrading, conning and persuading customers to believe your competitor's merchandise was unreliable. You can't trust that. And that's how they did their business. Now, of course, this idea translates to lots of areas of our life. I mean, there can be regular FUD, if you wanna call it that. Regular fear, uncertainty, doubt, “what about my job? What's happening with the economy? What's going on with health? What about the military actions that are taking place around the world? Russia's amassing troops on their eastern border, they're threatening the Ukraine, Europe. What's gonna happen with NATO? What about China and Taiwan and how is that gonna all shake out?” Yeah, there's all kinds of things that would bring fear or uncertainty or doubt. And then we personalize that. “What about my family? What about my loved ones? My kids, are they being smart? Are they being safe? Are they doing things that aren't good?” And, you know, if you are gonna make a list of those things that fulfill this acronym, you probably could come up with almost an endless list of things that could be categorized as FUD. And when you think about that aspect, we realize that when we buy into that, it causes us to act in unusual, maybe unpredictable ways.

And so today, that acronym can refer to any kind of disinformation, any kind of deception. And, of course, that would include fake news. That's oftentimes used as a competitive weapon. Isn't it? I mean, have you seen it, have you recognized some of these things that are all around us, and have you seen it used in politics? Boy, oftentimes that is a tool. How about education? What about science? It's also used in religion. Religion uses that as well. I mean, we've certainly seen the government use that, it helps them to control people and causes them to behave in certain ways. And so can you see it at work right now during this time that we're living in? And it's certainly affected things, affected the economy, affected spending habits, affected people and what they're willing to do. Will they go out? Will they stay in? What's happening?

And certainly, when you consider prophecy in these things, when you look at fear and uncertainty and doubt that's produced in people all around us, we recognize pestilence can certainly bring that kind of an attitude, or when you're suffering and that earth is shaking around you. Yeah, we've seen in the news lately some earthquakes that are happening around the world. Yeah. We recognize that's some prophetic things as well. And, of course, economic disturbances, the threat of war, it is out there, it is real. Those kinds of things definitely can generate anxious feelings. Yet, what does Christ tell us? He says something interesting over in John 14. If you'd like to turn there with me. He gives us some insight into what our perspective should be. And instead of having unpredictable, anxious actions, notice what He says here in John 14 right at the very beginning of the chapter, John 14:1 John 14:1Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
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. Here Christ is speaking and He says,

John 14:1 John 14:1Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
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– “Let not your heart be troubled.” Oh, yeah, we've heard this passage before. All right. So I shouldn't be worried. Don't let your heart be troubled. He says, “You believe in God? Believe also in Me.” Okay. That's the beginning of how to deal with this. In fact, if we look down a little bit further in verse 27, Christ also says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And so we could probably shut the Book and say, “That's it. Just don't be afraid. That's it.” Okay. It tells us what the outcome should be, it tells us what our perspective should be, but how do you have peace? How do you receive the peace of God in this world of fear, uncertainty and doubt because those are real things that we often struggle with? We all do in some ways or another. We may have fear about what happened in the past. We might have fear about what's happening right now, or what in the world's going to happen in the future. And so we're anxious about it.

And sometimes phobias even come into play, and we have apprehensions about what is going to happen because it definitely seems to be everywhere. But when we look at John 14, we realize that's not God's will, that's not what God wants for us. He doesn't want us to be afraid because He knows, He knows that kind of perspective leads to discouragement. It leads to depression. It leads to a feeling of being demoralized. And it is tough to act when you're in that kind of an attitude. And worst of all, it doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop there because fear and uncertainty, doubt, discouragement, it can even lead to sin. I mean, there's an uncomfortable passage in Revelation 21:8 Revelation 21:8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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. Revelation 21:8 Revelation 21:8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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talks about the ultimate result if that becomes who we are. Revelation 21:8 Revelation 21:8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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says that the fearful or the cowardly have their part in the lake of fire. And I think it points to the impact of what fear, uncertainty, and doubt are all about because it will immobilize us.

And Revelation indicates not just a psychological thing, it can become a spiritual thing. FUD will immobilize you spiritually. There's a passage in the Proverbs, Proverbs 29:25 Proverbs 29:25The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
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. Proverbs 29:25 Proverbs 29:25The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
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, it kind of mirrors what Christ had talked about, except it gives us the other side of the coin as well. Proverbs 29:25 Proverbs 29:25The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
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, it says, “The fear of a man brings a snare.” Well, that's the outcome Revelation was talking about. The fearful or the cowardly have their part in the lake of fire. “The fear of a man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Now, if you think about that, what happens when you're caught in a snare? Well, another name for a snare is a trap. You're trapped. You're locked down. You can't move. You can't react. You are stuck. So how can we grow spiritually and be the kind of people God wants us to be if we're afraid, if we're afraid of what people think, if we're afraid “what people say about me, or what they have said about me, or what might happen, or what could be?”

It certainly points to the fact that fear, uncertainty and doubt immobilizes us. It locks us down and we become trapped. And then the result is since we can't move, we can't get out of it, we can't be productive. We can't be spiritually productive. And Christ spoke of that as well. If you look over to Matthew 13, I can't help but think He had this in mind when He told a very familiar parable. This section of Scripture is oftentimes called the parable of the sower and the seed. And I think many of us are certainly familiar with this example that Christ gives. He talks about someone going out to plant. And they plant seed in all kinds of different circumstances, different kinds of soil in different places. And because they're planted in different ways, the growth is also impacted. So if we jump down to verse 32, we'll just look at one set of circumstances where this seed was planted. And so some of this seed, Matthew 13:22 Matthew 13:22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
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, and this is where Christ is giving the explanation of this parable, of this story that He had told, it says,

Matthew 13:22 Matthew 13:22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
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– “He who received the seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word and the cares of this world,” which other translations say the anxieties of this age, other translations say the worries of this life, Myers' translation says the FUD of this world, the fear, uncertainty, doubt, yeah, those all fit, and then it goes on, “and the deceitfulness of riches,” I mean, what happens when that's our perspective, it says, “it chokes the Word and he becomes unfruitful.” And that's that progression that leads to being immobilized spiritually. We don't spiritually produce. We don't grow in the character of Jesus Christ. And when we walk in worry and fear, the Word of God is choked in us, and then it doesn't produce what God intends. And it handicaps us. It thwarts us from being the kind of people God wants us to be, from fulfilling God's will.

Now we don't wanna think, am I the only one that has to deal with this? Am I the only one that feels this way? Am I the only one that worries and is fearful and has anxiety? Well, we're in pretty good company, if you wanna put it that way. Do you know one of the best examples of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the Bible is from the father of the faithful, Abraham? Abraham had that perspective at times in his life as well. He's called the father of the faithful, but not the father of the FUDful, right? And yet, he dealt with it. He had to deal with it. So if you turn with me to this example of Abraham that we find in Genesis 14. Genesis 14 is an interesting section of Scripture because it shows Abraham in an amazing success. There were invading armies that came against the territory of Abraham. And there was actually a coalition of kings that came and they took and conquered.

More specifically, they conquered Sodom and Gomorrah, and they not only took the people, but they took the food, the supplies, they took possessions. And they also took Lot, and Lot was Abram's nephew. They took him, the family, possessions, everything and basically kidnapped the people. And so here in Genesis 14, we read about Abraham's response to that. Of course, Abram at this point. And if we notice Genesis 14:15 Genesis 14:15And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
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, it says that night, Abram divided up his troops, which really weren't military troops in that matter, they were just his men, those that worked for Abraham. And what did they do? It says they attacked from all sides and won a great victory. So they win the battle. Now some of the enemy escaped, it says, to the north of Damascus. Abram went after them. They ran. But ultimately, it tells us here in verse 16, he brought back his nephew, Lot, together with Lot's possessions, and the women, and everyone else who had been captured.

And so we read Genesis 14 and hear, wow, we've got an amazing event taking place where God is right there with Abraham supporting him as he defeats this coalition of kings, and he did it in this miraculous night attack. And he wins the day, takes the spoils back, and actually rescues Lot and all the people that they had taken. I mean, amazing. Just an amazing event that takes place. I mean, if you could just imagine the success that he experienced and, of course, it's just so interesting to see how God backed him up. Yet if we turned the page to Genesis 15:1 Genesis 15:1After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.
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, shortly after this amazing success, it says,

Genesis 15:1-3 Genesis 15:1-3 [1] After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward. [2] And Abram said, LORD God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [3] And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, see, one born in my house is my heir.
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– “After these things, the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’” But what was his response? Well, verse 2, Abram said, “Lord, God, what will You give me seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abraham said, verse 3, “Look, You've given me no offspring. Indeed, one born in my house is my heir.” “I've got nothing, God.” But what did God say? God said, “Don't be afraid.” And so it's interesting we can take from this passage Abraham was afraid. He was uncertain about what was going to happen next. He was fearful and, boy, when we look at this, probably discouraged as a result of it as well. And in his example, I think we see a number of principles that we can learn when it comes to battling fear, uncertainty and doubt and, of course, the discouragement that comes with it. I mean, can you imagine why Abraham would've begun to feel this way? I mean, he just came off of this amazing victory. He conquered the armies of the East, and no doubt those in Canaan probably were revering Abraham, honoring Abraham for this great victory, but of course, it wasn't a complete victory.

Perhaps Abraham was a little worried about some retribution that might come from the kings of the East. It wasn't like they totally disappeared. That certainly was probably a concern of his, as well as he still had no son. He had no heir. He was worried about the future. He doesn't have a child. And in that, we see God shows up to get right down to the source of his fears and tells Abraham, “You don't have to worry about protection. You don't have to worry about provision. You don't have to worry about your heir,” because God says, “I'm going to take care of you.” And Abraham's example, I think, begins to get to the heart of the source of fear, the source of anxiety and uncertainty and doubt. I mean, if you notice this example, here's Abraham coming off a huge high and yet fear and doubt begin to sink in. And I think one of the reasons is because of his emotional state.

I think a source of fear, it's connected to our emotions. I mean, here's Abraham defeating the kings of the East. We've seen God's miraculous intervention with Abraham and he has this amazing high, conquering them, overcoming them, bringing back Lot and all the people, you can only imagine how he must have been feeling with God backing him up, and being on an emotional high from all of this. But what happens to our body chemistry after the adrenaline begins to fade? Well, oftentimes, wow, there can be a crash. There can be a crash emotionally as our bodies, our minds, our brains go back to normal. And I think it's really not any different for us. Now maybe we're not conquering kings of the East, but maybe we've been running on adrenaline. We've been running on fumes to get this done, to get that deadline, to meet the expectations, to take care of that, to be concerned about that, to make it happen in our life. And we're busy and we're doers.

And then when we come to the finish of it, maybe not long after that, we do find a downer. We crash with our reserves spent. And that can then sometimes lead like Abraham to thoughts that are kind of irrational, and that anxiety can set in and uncertainty. And so sometimes our emotions have a strong part in contributing to our fear and uncertainty. But I think there's a bigger source at work as well. Certainly, Satan's attacks can bring fear and doubt. It can bring that discouragement. There is no doubt that that is part of the arsenal of Satan, the devil. And he uses it as a strategy against us. And he works hard at trying to turn us into fearful people, uncertain people. How does Revelation describe him? I mean, we know Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
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says the devil and Satan is the deceiver of the whole world.

So we should make no mistake that he is attacking us. We are under spiritual attack. He doesn't want us to succeed. He wants us to doubt God. He wants us to doubt God's great plan. He wants having our thoughts to be uncertain. He wants us to be uncertain of our calling. He wants us to feel insecure. He doesn't wanna be locked into God's way. He wants us to be worried about the virus. He wants us to be concerned about the economy and overwhelmed with anxiety about our family. And he wants us to feel demoralized about it all. And he wants to lead us astray and cause us to fall. And so fear and uncertainty and doubt, if he can cause us to be led in that direction, we can't have God's best. We can't fulfill God's intentions because he wants us to think, “I can't do it. I can't make it. I can't do the impossible. I can't accomplish this. And I can't even get a break to be able to deal with this.”

Those are the kinds of thoughts he wants to put into our mind. And, of course, remember that acronym. Remember where FUD originated in the business world. It was about conning and persuading customers to believe their competitor's product was unreliable, unbelievable. You can't trust it. And that's exactly, exactly what Satan does. He knows what God's product is all about. God's product is about peace. God's product is about love. God's product is ultimately about eternal life. And yet he wants to convince us that we can't believe it. You can't trust that. Don't take that to heart. And so this idea of FUD is exactly what Satan is out to do in our lives. And there is a spiritual battle going on. The Apostle Peter was inspired to write about that in 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
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. Very familiar section of Scripture here in 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
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, you probably know parts of it by heart because it describes the way Satan works, it describes what he does, and really is an apt description of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
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, it tells us to be sober. It says we're to be vigilant. We're to be on our guard, on our toes. And it says,

1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
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– “Because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

Now we've heard this passage before. We're probably very familiar with it. The devil is out to get us. Now, the interesting part of this example that Peter was inspired to write about connects with fear and uncertainty and doubt. There was a study that was done by Fauna Communications Research Institute in North Carolina. Do you know that they studied lions' roars? I don't know where you come up with the capital to be able to study something like that, but that's what they did. They studied the roar of a lion. And you know what they discovered? If you look at their research and the details, they found that when a lion gives one of those mighty, deep, loud roars, it has such a chilling effect on its prey, and it sends almost like a shock wave to the animals that it's after, that at times, the prey of the lion actually experiences paralysis. Because of this deep roar of the lion, they're just stuck on the spot. And then that powerful lion has a moment, while that animal is paralyzed, to strike.

And so it's interesting that even science backs up what the Apostle Paul is saying. And that's that fear because that's what Satan does. He wants to tear us down. He wants to disable us. He wants to stop us in our tracks by shooting darts of fear, darts of uncertainty or arrows of doubt into our hearts and into our minds, so that we would be paralyzed with fear, so that we can't accomplish what God wants. So he can devour us and short-circuit our spirituality, and really keep us from what God has intended. And so scripture after scripture talks about the kind of being Satan is. We know 2 Corinthians describes him as the god of this age, 2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
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. And that he works against us. He works against us and that is his plan and that is his goal. That's his purpose because he knows, he knows when we are fearful, when we doubt, it shuts down our faith and our confidence and absolute assurance in God.

We begin like Abraham, like Abraham who wondered, “What are you doing, God? Why am I going through... why don't I have an heir? What's gonna happen next? Yeah, I've had a great victory, but who knows if those kings aren't going to come after me.” And so we engage in that kind of thinking, and we exchange the confidence that God wants us to have and the expectation that God has given us with uncertainty. And it weakens us and it zaps us of our energy and our spiritual strength. And it makes us question the most fundamental truths about who we are, and what God's purpose is all about, and what His plan for us truly is. And it allows Satan to get a foothold in our lives, a way for him to make those roars, those accusations, even louder and louder. But we can't allow that to happen. We can't allow that to happen. And so we've got to battle that source of fear and uncertainty and doubt.

But when we look at the example of Abraham, we see, yes, emotions had a part to play. No doubt Satan was attacking him as well, but there's also another aspect when we look at the source. Look at Abraham's perspective, sometimes a wrong perspective can be a source of fear and anxiety. Genesis 15, when we look at Abraham probably focusing on those kings of the East, maybe they're gonna seek revenge, maybe he's gonna die, maybe he won't be fulfilled with those promises God offered. You see, that wrong perspective led him to uncertainty. And, of course, all too often, that's our perspective because we can't help but see the problems that are right in front of us. We can't help but see the difficulties and the deadlines and discouragement instead of seeing God and His plan and His purpose. And so that wrong direction, that wrong focus leads us in the wrong direction, reminding us, “Wow, Abraham needed to change his perspective. He needed to change his focus.” And oftentimes we must as well.

So when we begin to consider those three aspects of fear, of a wrong perspective, we have Satan's attack, and we have our own emotions that we deal with. Yes, certainly, there are times we need help. And if we need counseling and we need help, we need to seek professionals, certainly, to help us with those things. But the Bible also provides us with a plan that we can minimize the FUD factor. We can minimize fear. We can minimize uncertainty and doubt. Now, if we look back to this example in Genesis 14 and 15, we look at Abraham, and God told Abraham, I think the first principle of how to minimize that uncertainty. What did He tell Abraham? He said, “Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid.” He told him, “Believe Me, believe Me.” Do we truly believe God? And this is amazing, if you look at this phrase, “Do not be afraid,” I mean, it doesn't happen in Scripture 10 times or 30 times or 50 times or 100 times. If you look at variations of that phrase, “Do not be afraid,” you're going to find it over 350 times throughout the Bible. And you could probably come up with names of individuals where God said those very words to. He certainly said it to Joshua as they were coming into the Promised Land. He told Moses the same thing when they left Egypt. He said those words to Gideon and to Jephthah. And He told them to individual after individual. Christ even said to the women at the resurrection, “Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.” And so we find that mantra over and over and over again because it's not God's will for us to be fearful people. And so, as we look at Abraham struggling with this very issue, we see God reveal Himself to Abram. He reveals Himself to calm his fears. And He tells Abram, “I am your shield. I am your great reward.” I mean, is that any different for us?

He was Abraham's shield and great reward. God would protect him and watch over him, and God ultimately would be his reward. And that applies to us as well. God was enough for Abraham. That's what God told him. And if He's enough for us, it would deliver us from fear, it would deliver us from evil. And it's interesting if we look back at Genesis 15:6 Genesis 15:6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
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, a famous section of Scripture here gives us an indication then of how Abram changed his perspective. And in Genesis 15:6 Genesis 15:6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
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, it tells us,

Genesis 15:6 Genesis 15:6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
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– “He believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” God accounted Abram's faith for righteousness. And, of course, most of the time when we discuss this passage, we zero in on that. It is how we are justified. It is how we are made right in God. It's how we are acquitted for sin. It's coming to God in faith, seeking forgiveness and repentance, and the sacrifice of Christ is applied to us. And then we're right with God. We are justified. We're forgiven of sin. We're brought back into a right relationship with Him. And we recognize that's exactly what happened to Abraham. And Abraham obeyed God, and he obeyed His commandments, and he followed Him. But here in this passage, it's also interesting that it says, “He believed in the Lord.” Now that not only means he believed in God or he believed that God existed, but there's so much more that's encapsulated here in this verse. This Hebrew word, believed, literally means to lean your whole weight on, lean everything you've got on the Lord, on God.

So here we find Abraham fully and completely and wholly leaned on God and on the promises of God. And this is such an important concept because it's not only mentioned here in Genesis 15, it's also mentioned three more times in the New Testament. He believed in the Lord and it was accounted to him for righteousness. It's quoted as well in Romans 4 and Galatians 4 and James 2, leaning your entire weight on God. Because when we can't do it ourselves, which is what can we do spiritual of ourselves? Nothing, nothing. And so we follow the example of Abraham who not only believed in God, but believed God. And the way that Abraham settled and removed his doubts and uncertainties was by believing God, believing what God said, believing what God promised. And as a result, we see the change. We see righteousness comes. We see a right relationship with God.

In fact, it's beautifully connected to a passage in Isaiah 41. Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41:10Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
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, here we find a similar promise made. When we fully and completely lean ourselves on God, amazing things can happen. And so here we find God telling us the same thing, telling Israel the same thing here. Isaiah 41, notice verse 10, like telling Abraham, here we're told,

Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41:10Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
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– “Fear not for I am with you.” It goes on, “Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” I mean, that's a promise of God. We can take that to the bank. We can count on it. There's no, “well, I wonder,” or “if,” or “could it possibly?” No, God says, “I'm with you. You don't have to be fearful. You don't have to be uncertain. You don't have to doubt. I am your God. I have promised I'll never leave you. I'll never forsake you. I'm the one that you can lean on in the most difficult of times.” Yes, and when that fear and when that uncertainty comes, because it will, we are human, we lean everything we have on God.

And He says, He will, He promises to uphold us, to lift us up. And we can believe it. We can believe that God has given us everything we need for life, everything that we need for godliness. He has promised very great and precious promises so that ultimately He says, we can be partakers of the divine nature. We can be children born into the spiritual family of God. 2 Peter 1 tells us that very thing. Yes, that's what God has promised. So we can minimize fear, uncertainty and doubt by believing God, believing in those promises. Now, of course, to do that, I think there's another way that we have to minimize that uncertainty. What are God's promises? What has He said? What has He given to me? We have to know those promises. We have to know God's Word. If we don't know the Word of God, if we don't know His character, if we don't know His nature, if we don't understand the promises that He's given us, well, we can get out of sorts. And so we're reminded of that very thing, know His Word.

There's that familiar passage in 2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
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, another one of those famous passages. Maybe we don't often associate it with uncertainty and doubt and discouragement and feeling demoralized, but it certainly ties in because of what it says. 2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
American King James Version×
, you probably know it, it says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” And it tells us that Word of God “is profitable,” it is useful, “it is profitable for doctrine” so we can know the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. It says it's good “for reproof,” for getting lined up again with the way of God, for getting rid of wrong attitudes, and wrong feelings, and wrong actions in our life. It's good “for correction.” It's good “for instruction in righteousness.” And then it says “that the man of God may be complete,” because we are a work in progress and we are working toward maturity. We are working toward completeness, and it says thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And so I think when you read about His Word and knowing and understanding His Word, I mean, one of the good works God wants to equip us with through His Word is that peace that Christ talked about. It's that confidence. It's that assurance that God is with us and promises to be with us, promises to help us up when we lean on Him, and He will equip us with everything that we need to succeed spiritually. And so God wants to give us that instead of the fear and the uncertainty and the doubt. And He wants us to study His Word and give us the joy of the confidence that we can have by understanding His promises and really living in that Word. And that certainly brings the opposite of fear. It gives us a joy. It gives us an assurance. It gives us a kind of radiance that we can have that when we lack joy, we can find it in the promises of God.

And His Word even tells us that when we know His Word and we understand His Word, it takes us in an entirely different direction than the discouragement and the doubt brings. We see that over in Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
. Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
, another very familiar passage, but let's notice how it applies in this world of FUD, this world of fear, this world of doubt, this world of uncertainty. Because here we find practical applications on what do we do when it comes? Because it's not if it comes, when those thoughts, when those emotions crash, when I'm feeling these things, what can I do? How can I minimize those feelings? Well, Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
gives us a strategy. It says,

Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
– “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are...” Wow, it's describing the character of God. It's describing Jesus Christ. It's describing His Word. It's describing His promises. Whatevers of a good report. He says, if there's any virtue, if there's anything praiseworthy, and when we look at it from a human perspective, oftentimes I don't see much. I don't see anything. But it says, we turn to God, we change our focus. We know His Word, and we can't help but think of godly things that fulfill all of the whatevers. And He says, “Think on these, meditate on these,” concentrate, focus on these things. It's interesting He tells us the results of doing that as well. It's not just, well, do this, but He says, as a result, it says “the things you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do and the God of peace will be with you.”

Boy, that brings us back to Abraham, “Don't be afraid.” It brings us back to Christ, “My peace can be with you.” And so like Abraham... I mean, He obeyed God. He knew His commandments. He knew His promises. He came to understand those things and he put them into practice. And when we know the Word and we study it and we practice it, we have another promise we can take to the bank that God will be with us. And He promises to calm those fears and uncertainties and He promises us peace. And it is such an amazing, beautiful picture of God's love, love for us, His love for Abraham. God was gonna protect him and watch over him. And when we struggle, He promises to do the same because He loves us so much. And so it's no wonder that John was inspired to write about that love of God, that there's no fear in love, right?

1 John 4:18 1 John 4:18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
American King James Version×
says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” And so, even though we struggle with uncertainty, and we struggle with the feelings of defeat, and part of it relates to that very fact as well, we wanna minimize the impact of fear and uncertainty. I think that passage in 1 John 4:18 1 John 4:18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
American King James Version×
reminds us of something so important. Certainly, we have to believe God, we have to know His Word, but it's also recognizing the love of God. Yes, we recognize His promises and we can feel secure in those promises, but sometimes the uncertainty comes because we forget about the love of God, and we fear the past, and what happened, and can I ever get beyond that? Or we fear what's going on today, or we fear the circumstances that might come about. And that can happen because we don't deeply know how much God really does love us.

He says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” Well, I can't have perfect love because I'm a human being, but I certainly can have the Spirit of God. And when I turn to God by the power of His Spirit, that fear can be cast out. And so by the power of God, leaning on Him, putting my entire weight and confidence in Him, He can cast out those fears. And if we would truly understand the depth of God's love and we truly appreciated that love, we can see how it can impact us and help to deliver us from the discouragement and the anxiety that we're faced with. Of course, if that's going to happen, I think it also brings us back to that story of Abraham because we have to ask for it.

We have to ask for it. We have to pray about it. We have to pray for the confidence that only God can give. We have to pray and ask God to give us the faith that we need to trust Him. We need to ask God to take away those feelings of anxiety and mistrust, take away those factors from us and the resulting discouragement, so that we can certainly be the people that He wants us to be. So we pray about it. And it's interesting when we look at that example back in Genesis 15, we have God and Abraham in a conversation. Chapter 15 begins with Abraham speaking to God, and talking to Him, and expressing himself, giving some of his most deep feelings over to God. And what's interesting about Genesis 15 is this seems to be the first time we have a give and take between Abraham and God. Before this in Scripture, we don't have an example of Abraham actually talking to God, kind of interesting.

God talked to Abraham before this. God told Abraham, “Get out of your country. I've got a Promised Land for you.” And what was Abraham's reaction? Doesn't record anything that he said, nothing. It just says Abraham went. And so the first give and take that we have recorded between Abraham and God is in Genesis 15. And it's recorded this conversation for us where we have a give and take. We have a back and forth. And in this conversation, God quiets Abraham's fears. And I think it's important for us to recognize that's what prayer is. Prayer is a conversation with God. And when we are attacked by fear, where do we run? Where do we lean? Well, we lean wholly on God. We run to God in prayer. We talk to God about that. And here's Abraham, does he appear so righteous that he talks to God in such righteous terms that he would never have a lack of confidence in God? Well, no, he doesn't... Abraham doesn't hide his doubts.

He acknowledges his worries and his concerns. And boy, there maybe even a little doubt, doubting maybe, “God, are you really gonna give me a son? Are you gonna give me an heir?” And I think that can be so encouraging for us because like Abraham, we need to be honest with God. We need to be genuine about our feelings and our emotions. Yes, God is concerned about those things. And while we may not be able to be fully transparent with people, yeah, people let us down. Sometimes people use information they've got about us in unhelpful ways and they may use that to hurt us. You've probably had that experience in your life. Someone that you trusted let you down. But that's not God. That is not God.

And so we have this beautiful example that when we tell God those kinds of things, we can be fully honest. We can be fully transparent. We can totally lean on Him because He already knows our fear. He already knows our uncertainty. He already knows the concerns that we have. And so we can go to God, especially when we're struggling. And when we're struggling, He hears us, and He takes us, and He picks us up when we lean on Him. And so when we recognize that, it's such a beautiful thing, such a beautiful thing. And I think it mirrors what Paul told the Philippians. If you look at Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
American King James Version×
, I think this helps complete the story. Because without the background, it seems almost incomprehensible, almost impossible, but going to God in prayer and leaning fully on Him, it changes us. Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
American King James Version×
, another familiar section of Scripture. I'll read this from God's Word Translation. So it may be just a little bit different than your King James or your New King James. It starts out in Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
American King James Version×
saying,

Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
American King James Version×
– “Never worry...” And I read the quote - how is that possible? Be anxious for nothing. Never worry. Never worry. Boy, that's not humanly possible. Is it? Not unless you turn to the spiritual side of things. And it gives us that motivation here, it says, “Never worry, but in every situation, let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.” Be like an Abraham, be like an Abraham, and when the fear and the uncertainty and the doubt is there, go to God with it. Tell Him about it. Petition Him. Thank Him for hearing you. And what does it tell us? As a result of that, God will do what He promised. It says, “Then God's peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” And I love that translation. Yeah, our thoughts and our emotions, that's a part of our whole being of who we are. We can have the peace of God and we can then be anxious for nothing when we recognize our great God and His awesome power in our life.

And so there is no doubt. We live in a world of FUD, but God says, “don't accept that in your life, reject it right from the start.” And we can have the tools to do that when we know His Word, when we believe in God, but even more importantly, believe what God has promised. And we know it, and we know His love, and we know His care, and we run to Him and lean fully on Him as we pray and ask for that godly peace to be given to us. And when we do, we can truly fulfill Psalms 34:4 Psalms 34:4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
American King James Version×
. It tells us, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and He delivered me from all my fears.”