We all have things that keep us up at night. It could be money worries or fear of failure, or maybe fear of being found out for something you’ ve done.
No matter what triggers our fear or anxiety, the root of our fear is in our not being able to control the outcome of the situations we face in our lives.
The Bible tells us that there is only one fear that is healthy to have. That is fear of the Lord. We are firmly told not to fear if we will have enough to eat or drink or wear (Matthew 6:31) or even to worry about the future (Matthew 6:34), or about those who would harm us ( Matthew 10:28). This is not because God promises to keep us from all hardship, but because we can trust Him..that He is big enough to handle our problems and that He loves us and is right there with us even in the darkest times of our lives (Psalm 23). He promises He had good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and Hepromises that nothing can separate us from His love for us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39)-the love that died in our place to guarantee us a beautiful eternity spent in the very presence of God. Therefore, if we are in Him, we are not to worry about these troubles that will only last for such a short time in light of eternity (Romans 8:18) (2 Corinthians 4:17). When Christians live in a constant state of worry, they forget that God is always working all things together for the good of those whom He loves and has called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).
Worry is something that Satan uses to take our eyes off the sovereignty of God, and focus instead on our own inadequacy. Worry and fear keep us from living for God sometimes. Maybe I’m afraid of rejection, so I don’t speak the truth of the Gospel to my family member. Maybe I fear change, so I don’t go to another country to labor for Christ. If I fear losing my “me time”, I will talk myself out of spending time with someone who needs encouragement. If your fear leads you to disobey God, your fear is placed on the wrong thing!
The one fear that is beneficial to have is a fear of God. Many might say “If God is so loving, I should under no circumstances have to fear Him.” I believe that fear has two meanings in this case. To fear the Lord means to recognize Him as being the Supreme Ruling Power over everything in this world, to hold a right, awestruck view of this Holy God who is so OTHER, who by simply speaking was able to create life. What we take for granted each day: the sun, the ocean, babies,the ability to breathe or our self-healing bodies..all miracles that we could not duplicate-EVER!- these are all the workmanship of an incredibly powerful God. He made us to worship and love Him and obey Him, and to respect who He is-God.
The other meaning I think we can take as being afraid in a physical sense, awaiting retribution for crimes committed. This is a dread of the judgment of God. If we have repented of our sins and placed our faith in Christ, we (praise God!) should see the Holy Spirit at work inside of us. This is the evidence of us being saved, and we don’t fear the judgment of God anymore, since Christ has borne it in our place at the cross . For those who have not yet been saved, fearing God’s impending judgment may be the catalyst that leads to repentance. It is wise to accept the payment Jesus provided instead of stubbornly choosing to receive the deserved payment (hell) for refusing to acknowledge God’s Lordship.
One passage I love and have pondered is Proverbs 1:7, which says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. Some translations say, “the beginning of wisdom”. This to me says that to see God for who He is, and to respond to Him accordingly is the wisest way to live. Psalm 34:9 says “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” To fear the Lord is absolutely the smartest way to live, because ultimately God IS in control. That means we can live IN fear of God, but WITHOUT fear of anything else. Since God is so loving and so good, we can obey Him and know He has our best interests at heart. Fear of God is not a negative thing. It reminds us WHO truly has control, which frees us from having to sweat the small stuff, and even the huge stuff. We are safe in the hands of our Savior, free to follow Him wherever He leads.
Where do you see fear in your own life? Is it fear of God or fear of something else? How would fearing only God change your perspective or your actions?
Psalm 118:4~ “Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.”