by James Merritt

Farewell to Fear
James Merritt
II Timothy 1:6-7


1. It is a spirit that hovers over every home and hamlet on earth. Sometimes it expresses itself through sweaty palms. In a moment it can tie your stomach into knots that take hours to undo. It can shove a lump into your throat and shut down your entire windpipe. It can cause your blood pressure to rise like a rocket and your courage to drop like a rock.

2. If the shock it brings is strong enough, the blood can be cut off almost completely from the brain momentarily, causing a person to faint. In other cases, it can cause the blood flow to the extremities of the body to be hindered so that a person actually gets "cold feet."

3. This mysterious monster can even prove to be fatal. Medical science has even proven that it can cause the cardiovascular muscles to react in such a way that heart failure is the result, meaning that people can literally be "scared to death."

4. What is this silent, unseen, deadly enemy that plays no favorites, knows no friend, gives no quarter and has no mercy? It is the sinister minister called fear.

5. Now I would be remiss if I did not caution you that not all fear is necessarily bad. Indeed, not only is some fear good - some fear is Godly. One of the most famous quotes in presidential history was Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." The problem with that quote is it is simply untrue, as long as there are spiders, rattlesnakes, murderers, and terrorists and criminals on the loose, there is plenty of room for fear.

6. Jesus, on one occasion, taught us to fear. "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28) The bible also teaches that fear is not always foolish. Proverbs 1:7 reminds us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." There is such a fear that is both healthy and holy.

7. A doctor should ...

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