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Sermon Illustrations: Fear


General George Patton of WW2 fame was once asked if he ever experienced fear. "Just before an important engagement and sometimes during a battle, but," he added, "I never take counsel of my fears".

Newspaper counsellor, Ann Landers, reputedly receives an average of 10,000 letters each month. When asked if there was a particular problem that seemed to predominate she said it was fear. Afraid of losing their health, wealth, loved ones, even of life itself.

Many specialists estimate that 90% of today's chronic patients have one common problem - fear. Fear of losing their jobs, old age, being exposed, of facing the future etc.

Apparently, it's the most often repeated of God's commandments: "Fear not / do not be afraid." God repeats it over and over throughout Scripture.

It's common for last words of pilots before a crash to be mostly swearing because of fear.

Unusual fears: Ophthalmophobia - fear of being stared at; Arachibutyrophobia - fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; Paraskavedekatriaphobia - fear of Friday 13th; Genuphobia - fear of knees; Pogonophobia - fear of beards; Alektorophobia - fear of chickens; Coulrophobia - fear of clowns; Dendrophobia - fear of trees; Didaskaleinophobia - fear of going to school; Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - fear of long words; Thanatophobia - fear of death; Athazagoraphobia - fear of being forgotten or ignored; Ochlophobia - fear of crowds; Nyctophobia - fear of darkness; Scopophobia - fear of being looked at by other people; Kakorrhaphiophobia - fear of failure; Monophobia - fear of loneliness; Gamophobia - fear of marriage; Peniaphobia - fear of poverty; Hypengyophobia - fear of responsibility; Categelophobia - fear of being made fun of; Schoolphobia - fear of school; Theophobia - fear of God; Hadephobia - fear of Hell.

An Indian fable talks about a mouse that was constantly in fear of cat. So one day, a magician changed the mouse into a cat. But then the cat was afraid of a dog. So the magician changed the cat into a dog. But the dog was afraid of a tiger. So the magician changed the dog into a tiger. But then the tiger was afraid of a hunter. Finally, in exasperation, the magician said, "Be a mouse again, you have only the heart of a mouse and I cannot help you."

Fear causes sickness: Num 22:3 And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel.

Fear of God: It's not contradictory to fear a God of love. My children understood a little of what it meant. They understood that the same Daddy who kissed and cuddled and tickled them, and bought them chocolate and ice-creams, was the same Daddy who wielded the stick.

A man said to his wife just before an important engagement, "I'm so nervous, I've got sweaty palms and a dry mouth." His wife replied, "Then why don't you lick your palms?"

Fear: What do you call an irrational fear of Santa Claus? Claustrophobia.

Fear: How many birds have ever been killed by scarecrows?


I only worry on Wednesdays. Any other day I have a worry I write it down and put it in a box. By the time I get to Wednesday I find most of the worries have been taken care of. J. Arthur Rank - one of the world's major movie producers.