Summary: A sermon celebrating and admonishing our graduates. This is a sermon modified from a sermon by Dan Borchert accessed at:

Graduation Celebration 2021!

2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 3:13-14, Hebrews 12:1-3

How Do I Make It In This World?


Everyone is trying to make it in this world.

Some people will go to considerable lengths attempting to find success.

An athlete might try taking steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.

Some might try to gain insider trading news to make an extra buck.

Someone may lie on their resume to get a better job.

The question in the minds and hearts of these people is, “How can I make it in this world?”

But none of these things, or the like, will help them ultimately make it in the world. There may be a measure of seeming success to those who cut in line, crash through gates, lie, cheat, and steal, but it doesn’t last. It cannot last forever.

So how do you make it in this difficult world?

The Bible is an ancient book, but it contains timeless truths that are ever-relevant. It gives us principles that if applied can make a life worth living. This morning I am speaking to our graduates and I want to share three truths with you that I hope you will allow to define and guide the next phase of your journey in this life. You three have been successful to this point in life. You are about to cross a threshold into another season of life, and you are ready. With God’s Spirit within you, His Name upon you, the support of your parents, your church. You’ve got brains in your head, feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any way you choose. So, here are three principles from God’s Word to use as a guide:

1. Face your Fears

2. Forget Your Failures

3. Follow your Faith

I. Face Your Fears (2 Timothy 1:7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (self-control).”

We are all afraid from time to time. Anxiety is a part of the experience of being human. This is why Jesus spent time in the sermon on the mount dealing with it. This is why the Bible is filled with the admonition to “fear not.” This is why the Bible is filled with encouragement at crucial moments in the lives of its sheroes and heroes. We ALL get scared. We ALL get nervous. God remembers the way we are made and He deals with us accordingly. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your vocation in life there will be moments of fear.

Ricky Williams was drafted in the first round after New Orleans traded all their draft picks for him. His rookie season was not that great, and it was appearing that he would be a complete bust. Part of his problem was that he had a social anxiety disorder. He was uncomfortable in public. It affected his playing. He would become so worked up he could not perform on the level he was able to. He was traded to the Dolphins in 2002. It was there that he received counseling for the problem and faced his fears.

It is not wrong to have fears. What is crippling is when we let our fears control us. When become consumed by fear we cannot see clearly. Anxiety can dominate us. It can become a perpetual state. It can so control us that it keeps us from doing things.

A university did a survey. They showed groups of ten students a set of lines. The professor would then ask them which line was the longest. In each group, nine of the students participating were told to choose the second-longest. One student did not know what was going on. In 75% of the tests, the single student would go along with what everyone said. Why? Out of fear. Fear of being wrong. Fear of not being accepted.

How can we overcome this? In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul wrote these words:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (self-control).”

Keep in mind that when Paul wrote this to Timothy, he was a young preacher trying to be all that God intended him to be but he had a lot of fear. He was standing at the thresholds of life and he did not know all that was ahead of him.

So, Paul tells him not to be afraid. Paul tells him (and us) that we can have the confidence to face our fears through what God has given us. He has given us His Spirit! And His Spirit is not a spirit of fear. His Spirit is a Spirit that gives us power, love, and a sound mind! A mind that gives the ability to control ourselves, rather than being dominated by our fears!

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