What I’m going to be speaking on this morning is, The Fears That Men Struggle With. What I’d like to do is just start by sharing with you how I came upon this message.
One of the guys that I meet with, he’s in his mid-30s, he’s a very sharp young man, very well-educated, very articulate, and he shared with me, confided in me, that he struggles with fear in his life, and we’ve talked a lot about those fears. And there’s another guy that is a good bit older, and who’s very, very wealthy, and has done very well in his life, and he shared with me how he wakes up in the middle of the night and he’s got all these fears running wild in his mind, in his imagination, and he can’t sleep well. And from that, and other discussions, I’ve concluded that – let me say this, if you met either one of these men and interacted with them and talked with them, you would never in your wildest dreams think that they had any worries because they seemed to be “so together”. I’ve thought about this a lot, but you can pretty much categorize your fears into four different areas, and there’s overlap between them.
The first is basically business and financial concerns. You know, you think about your career. There’s so much you can do to contribute to a successful career. So much of it falls on your shoulders. So much of it is truly your responsibility, but you know what? There’s so much that you and I have no control over. None of us have control over the economy. None of us have control over the stock market. Will I have the financial resources to be able to retire?
The second, and this is most obvious to all of us I think, is that we fear the well-being of our family, and our loved ones, and even our own lives, fears about our children, I think, are very common, and I think parents do experience their greatest fear and anxiety over their children.
And then there’s a third category, and this is a biggie, and this just cascades all throughout our lives, we worry about what people think about us. Which is ultimately about the fear of rejection, the fear that my life doesn’t matter in the eyes of other people, that I’m just inconsequential in the eyes of the world, I don’t measure up as a man.
What do you think about what I do? How do you rate what I do? How do you rate my life? And what if I fail at what I do? What would you think of me then? Would you value me? Would you think I’m a real man? You see, the fear of rejection is a powerful force in the life of every man. I was reading an interesting article as I was doing the research on this and the article was titled, “What Men Fear Most”. It was by a guy named Damien Ference.
Listen to what he says. “If you ask a man why he watches pornography, you get certain obvious answers, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find something much more serious at work in a man’s heart and mind. The most secret, and perhaps the most real reason that men use porn is because porn can’t reject you, and a man’s worst fear is being rejected.” Wow. I never would have thought that. Do you see how the fear of rejection, I could, I wrote a book on this, you can buy it today, The True Measure of a Man. It’s all about the fear of failure, fear of rejection, but you see, it can just cascade into your life and create all kinds of problems, and then, of course, we never talk about it. Because if we talked about our fears, what would you think about me? What would you think about me as a man?
Please hear this, men. Modern people believe that I can run my life better than God, and when it gets right down to it, I want to be in control of my life, and that’s what so many of us are trying to do, but please hear this. God is telling each of us there is nothing more foolish than to think that you have life under control, when it’s not controllable at all.
You know, I think we all recognize that living with fear robs us of joy and peace, and so, it’s essential that we deal with our fears so that we can experience the full and vibrant life that we all long for. You really can’t live this life very well without hope. Now, I know hope is kind of, not a very meaningful word to modern people because we used it as a verb. I hope that it doesn’t rain today. Which does not give you much certainty. But you know in the New Testament, the word hope is used 80 times as a noun. If it’s used 80 times, it seems to me it must be important.
Do you have that in your life? Do you have a hope that neither suffering or circumstances nor death itself can destroy? And if not, you have to ask yourself this question. What is my ultimate hope in life? The only way you’re going to be able to face life under any circumstances is if you find a way to put your ultimate hope into something suffering and even death can’t take away, something that is eternal.”
There is a hope that God calls each of us to. There is a future that He has for your life, and if you connect your heart and your life to that hope, you will experience an incredible life. You’ll experience a life that’s not characterized by fear and this is what God has for each of us. It’s the hope that the writer of Hebrews says, that will be an anchor for your soul. Do you have that anchor?