Scripture: Genesis 32
Do any of you struggle with fear? Or are you too afraid to admit it? Franklin D Roosevelt said “let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes.” This morning as we continue our Genesis Origins series, we will see how Jacob handled the fear of his brother Esau. And we will see what part faith has in removing fear.
What do you do when you’re afraid? Do you worry? Do you get stressed out? Do you panic and make irrational decisions? Many people do. But Jacob had God with Him who promised to be with him. As believers, we also have the promise that God will always be with us.
A woman said to evangelist D.L. Moody, “I’ve found a wonderful verse to help me overcome fear”: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3. Moody replied, “I can give you a better promise”: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:2
Model from Jacob’s prayer (Genesis 32:9-12)
- God’s Covenant
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
- God’s Command
- God’s Care
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6
- God’s Purposes
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
- God’s Promise
“the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7
Jacob wrestled with God
Jacob was alone and God appeared to him as a man who wrestled with him. Jacob had been wrestling with God his whole life and trying to do things his own way. Jacob fought tirelessly, and the man finally weakened him by putting his hip out of joint. Still Jacob clung to the man and said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
God said “what is your name?” Not because He didn’t know, but He wanted to know how Jacob saw himself. He replied “Jacob.” We previous learned that that meant schemer and deceiver. God gave him a new name “Israel” because he strived with God and men and prevailed. Even though he was weakened and humbled by the hip injury, Jacob now was empowered by God. He had a new name and a new identity “One who was mastered by God.” For Jacob, finally giving in was a step of faith. To really trust God and believe He would do all He promised.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God.” James 4:6-7
How do you handle fear, worry, and uncertainty in your life?
Go to God in prayer.
Have you admitted you can’t handle life on your own?
Put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Are you trying to hold it all together alone and run your own life?
Submit your plans, hopes, and dreams to God and His will.