FEAR: The Bad and the Good!

The first thing to remember about the fear that we often think of is that it is NOT from God but from Satan (2 Tim. 1:7). In fact, as believers, like Israel, God commands us NOT to fear and pledges to be with us through it all (Isaiah 43:1-2). The key to success in being blessed with His help is to keep our trust in Him through EVERY circumstance (Philippians 4 :6-7; Psalm 34:4). 

To rid ourselves from fear, we must know what we are afraid of. Once we know the fear, we can begin to get rid of it.

Fear is painful. It is painful to  believers and serves the purposes of Satan (1 John 4:18). The first thing we just do is make a conscious effort to trust God (Psalm 56:3). Then we can move forward, secure in the knowledge of God’s presence in our lives (Isaiah 41:10).

It’s very easy to stay up nights and worry about the coming day or some day in the near future. The Bible teaches us this simple truth: Worry (a product of fear) is a sin (Matthew 6:25, 34; 1 Peter 5:7). Better to focus on trust in and love of God! Do we waste time on worry or spend time trusting and loving God?

Here are some more encouraging verses on the topic of fear from God’s Word: Psalm 118:6; Psalm 23:4).

I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. -Psalms 36:1 NIV

Is there such a thing as good fear? There is one fear that is a good to have: THE FEAR OF THE LORD (Proverbs 3:7; Luke 12:5; Matthew 10:28). Let’s take a few minutes to examine what the Bible has to say about it. The first thing we should understand as we embark on our journey to know God better is the fact that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). He will take care of the needs of those who fear Him (Psalm 34:9). As much as we are commanded not to fear the things of the world, we are also to fear the Lord (Joshua 24:14; Ecclesiastes 12:13).

The following image contains an excerpt from a favorite study resource, the ESV Keyword Study Bible, that discusses the meaning of the fear of the Lord as portrayed and encouraged in Scripture: 

The Old Testament is not the only place in Scripture that talks about the Fear of the Lord. There is plenty of discussion of this topic in the New Testament. In Acts 9:31, the Greek word used for fear means a deep and reverential sense of accountability to God or Christ. Here are some other verses that speak of this fear: Romans 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 7:1; Ephesians 5:21 (reverence).

Here is a comment from John Macarthur on the topic of the fear of God: While many Christians today think of the Lord in friendly, passive terms, the truth is that none of us would be leaping into the arms of our Father. The testimony of Scripture is clear: All sinners—even strong believers with mature faith—are right to cower in the light of God’s holiness. 

Of course, as Christians, we know the answer is Jesus. We can approach Him in fearful reverence, knowing His love for us because of Jesus and His sacrifice for us.

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