Fear has been one of my most-suffered, longest-lived companions over the course of my life. It’s a weight that has made everything more difficult. I feel it so constantly that I am not sure what it feels like to not have it. I would love to know.
(Be warned, my friends who are not believers — this is another post about God. I can’t help it. That’s where my thoughts go. Please do not be offended by what you read. I mean no disrespect to you or your ideas.)
But, as I was unloading the dishwasher (the best ideas come while doing chores it seems), it hit me.
I can be free of fear, and fear is not something God wants me to have. As I stood there, stacking plates, I remembered how the Bible says that the only one anyone should fear is God, because nobody else can mess with, or change, your eternal life or destiny. And, then, my mind remembered how it says in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7). And, then I remembered all of the times some supernatural being (either Jesus or angels) said, “Fear not…” I remember Jesus saying “Peace be with you” and I remember how 1 John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear. I puzzled for a few moments over what seems to be an inconsistency. Does God want me to fear or not?
Then it hit me that the verse in Proverbs says that fear of God is the BEGINNING of Wisdom. The BEGINNING. I realized that it is right to be in fear, or in awe of God, and it is wise. It’s wise to recognize his holiness, majesty, mystery, might, power and awesomeness. But then, as you journey on, you see that even though he has ultimate power and authority, his purpose in interacting with us (unless we are being total evil monsters who need scaring) is not to terrify us, but to bring us peace and love.
Now, there are people who should fear (as I alluded to up there ^^).
John 3:19-21 Common English Bible (CEB)
19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. 21 Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”
It’s good that you believe that God is one. Ha! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble with fear.
But, for people who love God, there is no reason to fear. Faith is what we use to drive it away because we know God has made us his children.
You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Remembering all of this gives me peace, re-ignites my faith and helps me stand and face things that would make me tremble otherwise. I was once told, years ago, by a dear lady who worked at my Army Public Affairs Office, that I was the strongest person she knew. I remember being so shocked because I do not feel strong at all. And there is where I realized that God is bigger than my fears, and he shines through me as strong, even when I am feeling so very weak and afraid. I trust that God will continue to do this – and that I will someday feel what it is like to have a day free from the feeling of fear. No matter what I feel, though, I KNOW that I am not a slave to fear. I am God’s child. Fear should be afraid of me.