Big Idea: Courage is holding firm to our faith as we move forward in the face of a fear that attempts to stop us!
Fear Seeks to Control By Discrediting
9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
Acts 6:9-14 (NIV)
Fear Seeks to Control By Suffering
56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. Acts 7:56-58 (ESV)
Fear Seeks to Divide Us
- Division leads to segregation
- Division leads to anger and bitterness
- Division leads to distraction
How do we put on the cloak of courage and overcome Fear?
- Be vulnerable and ask for help
- Choose to take a step out of your safe zone
- When Unholy Fear tells us NO, it’s usually God telling us GO!
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (ESV)