Fear: Where is Your Faith?

Fear CC.jpg

Over the next week, we will be releasing posts on emotions.  Are all emotions okay for the Christian?  How are we to cope with certain emotions?  Why does God make me feel this way?  It’s certainly a relevant topic for today, and we have chosen the week leading up to Valentine’s Day to release what we’ve found.

Today’s emotion is fear, and we’ve all felt it.  Maybe you were afraid to give that presentation.  Maybe you were afraid to talk to that one person.  Maybe you were afraid to pick up the phone at 3:30 in the morning.  Whether minor or paralyzing, these situations often come to mind when we think about the emotion of fear.

The Positive

What if I told you that fear can be a good thing?  Because it can.  Even though God is in control, He has placed within us certain inhibitions and fears.  I call them “healthy fears”.  Some healthy fears include:

  • The fear of walking into a cage full of hungry bears
  • The fear of irresponsibility with guns
  • The fear of God

The first fear falls into the category of “Risk and Result”.  We know it has the potential to cause enormous pain, so we have to know why we are doing it.  We have to weigh our options.  When evaluating whether something is a healthy fear or not, ask the question: “Does the result justify the risk?”  Does the fear of walking into a cage full of hungry bears, merely because you want to, qualify as a healthy fear?  Certainly.  Does the fear of running into a cage full of hungry bears to save a child justify overcoming the fear?  Of course.

The second fear falls into the category of responsibility.  We are all entrusted with a certain amount of responsibility, so we can all relate.  You should fear getting drunk and killing someone in an accident.  You should fear looking down the barrel of a gun and getting shot.  You should fear the consequences of disobeying orders in a life or death situation.

The third fear, the fear of God, falls into a category of its own.  Several Scriptures mention this fear:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
-Proverbs 1:7
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
-Romans 3:12-18
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
-2 Corinthians 7:1
The Greek word for “fear” in the last two passages is phobos.  It is where we get our word “phobia”.  Phobos could also be translated as “terror”.  All of a sudden, “the fear of God” becomes “the terror of God”.
I know a lot of pastors and teachers say this means a mere reverence and respect, but I think it’s more than that.  God sits enthroned on high, lightning in His hands and the power to destroy all with the word of His mouth.  We are His creation, and we have disobeyed Him.  Being a just God, He cannot leave sin unpunished.  While Jesus has taken that punishment in the full, we are still subject to God’s chastisement (John 15:2; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:5-11).  This should leave us sober, even fearful.  We must fear God.
1 John 4:18 is often cited as a verse that negates the fear of God.  It says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”  Sadly, this verse is oftentimes used out of context.  Look at verse 17, “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”  In context, 1 John 4:18 is speaking of Judgment Day.  Therefore, it is speaking about the fear of eternal judgment and wrath.  Again, Christ has suffered the wrath of God in our place, but we are still subject to chastisement from an all-powerful God.

The Negative

With such a powerful God, what else do we have to fear?  Even if an army comes against us, how much more powerful is our God?  Will He not protect us in His perfect plan?  At Passion 2017, Levi Lusko said, “Fear is faith in the enemy.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  What must God think when we place more faith in our circumstances than in Him?

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

-Psalm 27:1-3

Even if the earth trembles beneath us, He will protect!  He is sovereign over all!  That includes snow, wind, rain, hail, sleet, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, and every other disaster imaginable.  Nothing catches Him by surprise, and He is our Refuge.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

-Psalm 46:1-3

We need not fear tomorrow.  He provides for His creation, how much more for His children?  He is both our Creator and our Sustainer.  As has been said, “We do not know what our future holds, but we know Who holds our future.”

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

-Matthew 6:25-34

Do you fear death?  The Bible has plenty to say about that as well:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

-Matthew 10:28-31

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

-Psalm 23:4

Maybe you fear public speaking and/or talking to people.  Many people do.  In fact, a 1977 study concluded that while 19% of people name death as their top fear, 41% of people name public speaking as their top fear.  So what does the Bible say about that?  Check out these two accounts:

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”  Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”  But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 1:4-8

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”  Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

-Exodus 4:10-12

Every other fear imaginable is dwarfed in comparison to the God we serve.  A rightful fear of God leads to an immovable faith in God.  So what do I fear?  I fear standing before God one day and giving the account of a wasted life, a life wasted by putting more faith in my circumstances than in the Creator of those circumstances.  That is what I fear, and I pray you feel the same.

Everyday leading up to Valentine’s Day we will be posting on a different emotion.  Subscribe to get them in your inbox.  Did you enjoy this article?  Give it a like.  Do you have questions?  Comment below or shoot us an email at simpledifficulttruths@gmail.com.  Would you like prayer?  All you have to do is let us know.  We’re here to serve.



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