Facing Fears

Between Christmas and New Year’s I went up to Berlin to hang out with a friend and decided to head to a church service on Sunday. While researching churches in Berlin that had English translation (my German is still not good enough to understand a full sermon in German), I found that Saddleback church had a church plant. I was curious to see how they handled a church plant in a foreign country, so I headed out and here is what I learned.

I don’t want to go into detail about how Saddleback Berlin worked as a church plant, but instead I want to publicly ruminate on the topic of the sermon. The sermon was conducted via video and obviously recorded on a different week since it would have been 2 AM in California when I was at church. The pastor for that day was Derwin Gray, a former NFL player who is now the lead pastor of Transformation Church in South Carolina.

His sermon was on fears and as soon as he said the word fear, I had a lot of thoughts pop in my mind. What am I afraid of? What are those fears keeping me from? What could I be doing today that I’m not because of the fears? Then, the sermon started and Derwin put fear into the correct perspective for me. He had 5 points and I wanted to not only share them with you, but also give my thoughts on some of them.

1. Love God’s glory more than your fear. (1 Samuel 17:26)

Most of the fears I thought of were hindering me in my goals…it’s not about me.

2. Ignore cowards (1 Samuel 17:28)

People who are afraid that you will do more than them might try to dissuade you. Not necessarily out of spite or jealousy, but sometimes because they are afraid to do something too.

3. Be yourself, not someone else. (1 Samuel 17:38-40)

One of my favorite quotes from Derwin was when he said; “Be yourself, not someone else because everyone else is already taken.” I am who I am, because I am here for a purpose. My strengths and weaknesses make me who I am, so what do I have to offer that is unique from others, and here is the important part, to bring about God’s glory?

4. Trust the King (1Samuel 17:45-46)

Another good quote from the sermon, “Fear became my friend, because it pushed me to my Daddy.” I don’t know if I have ever looked at fear as a friend, but that’s because I typically let it cripple me instead of leaning on God.

5. Jesus is the true David who defeated the true Goliath: sin, death and evil (Colossians 2:13-15)


I don’t know about you, but my fears have held me back from doing a lot in life. While not all of those things are specifically related to expanding God’s Kingdom here on Earth, some are. How can we resolve this? There is only one option…be drawn to our Father and allow him to be our courage and strength.


Then at the end Derwin left a thought to take home that he called a “Soul Tattoo.” He said, “Attack your fear by trusting Christ.”

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