The Torment of Fear
I John 4:18
Intro: The context of these verses deal with love.
The word “love”, “loved”, or “loveth” is found 27 times from verse 7 – 21.
These verses deal with:
- Our love for each other. – vs. 7, 11
- God’s love for us. – vs. 9
- Our love for God – vs. 19
John makes a couple of really profound statements in verse 18:
A. The Reality – there is no fear in love
These two emotions cannot cohabit!
B. The Rejection – perfect love casteth out fear
One or the other will prevail.
Love casteth out fear. Likewise, fear casteth out love.
C. The Rebuke – he that feareth is not made perfect in love
The bottom line is this – the child of God has a choice. To live in love, or to live in fear!
I want to focus on that statement in verse 18 – FEAR HATH TORMENT
I. The Torment of Stressful Anxiety
The list of phobias is unbelievable. There are people that suffer from fear of almost everything.
(REFER TO LIST)
Torment: kolasis – correction, punishment, penalty
Fear is like a prison sentence.
A person that lives in fear is living in a prison.
The word TORMENT is used several times in the Scripture.
This word is used to describe:
1. The demons of Legion begging not to be tormented by Jesus. Matthew 8:29
2. Those suffering in the flames of hell. Luke 16
3. Those suffering during the tribulation period. Revelation 9:5
4. Those suffering persecution for being a Christian. Hebrews 11:37
5. The punishment of Satan in the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10
In every one of these situations, the torment that is being experienced is involuntary.
Yet, people choose to live in fear, thus tormenting themselves!
- 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The spirit of fear is a real problem for some people.
- SPIRIT – the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated; the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides; the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one; the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.
Fear is like being tortured. It doesn’t stop until it breaks you.
- 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
- Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
II. The Torment of Satanic Attacks
- Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Our key defense against satanic attacks is the shield of faith.
Without faith, we are vulnerable to Satan’s fiery darts.
Without the armor, we cannot withstand in the evil day.
Without the shield of faith, we cannot QUENCH all of the fiery darts of the wicked.
QUENCH: put out; extinguish
Faith is a shield against Satan’s attacks.
He cannot take away your salvation, but he can do a lot of things if you let him.
Without the shield of faith, Satan can torment your heart, your mind, your every waking moment!
III. The Torment of Spiritual Amnesia
Fear is an overwhelming emotion.
Police go through months of intense training so they can learn how to function in fear.
Soldiers go through basic training to learn how to fight even when they are afraid.
Fear causes paralysis.
Fear makes people forget basic facts.
- 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
- 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
One of the torments of fear is always forgetting things like:
1. God is in control.
2. Nothing can happen to us without God’s permission. (Job)
3. God is never caught off guard or surprised.
4. The Bible has all the answers.
5. The child of God has a heavenly Father that is always watching over us.
6. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Conclusion: Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
- Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
- Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.