Fear gets a bad rap.
We think it’s terrible to be fearful. Life coaches and positive thinkers blame fear for inhibiting personalities and thwarting success. Historians say fear has paralyzed progress. Others declare that fear keeps people from discovering their purpose or achieving their dreams. It holds us back with its scariness and uncertainty.
At times in my life, fear has prevented me from taking risks that I needed to take. This slowed my growth to a crawl until I made my way back around to the scary thing.
Life trains us to be fearful. Bad things happen to us or others, and we learn to be cautious.
Babies are born without fears. The only things that really bother a baby are loud noises and falling. Babies don’t know to be scared of cooing in public or attempting something new. They marvel at the world and embrace the unknown with abandon.
But then we grow up, and fear becomes both a terrible life-sucking thing, and something that ensures we make it through another day.
Fear keeps children away from barking dogs. It causes people to stay off the edge of a cliff. Fear helps us stay alive.
Figuring out what deserves fear and what doesn’t lies at the center of our growth.
The Bible says the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. That’s always struck me as strange. Since God is love, and he’s kind and caring, why should we be fearful of him? That’s like saying I should be fearful of my spouse or parent—the people in my life who love me the most. I don’t fear them. I trust them.
But there are times when I might be fearful of them. If I were to hurt them, break their confidence, lie or steal, then I might be fearful of their reaction.
This kind of fear—the kind that’s born in the middle of love—has more to do with honor than with cruelty. Because of God’s wonder, I fear him. Not because He’s cruel or unfair, but because He’s so much more than anything I can imagine.
And yet, he loves me, and he tells me to fear not—to trust Him.
God knows there are things in life that will stop us, cause us to freeze, and keep us from going forward, and He tells us to fear nothing but Him.
That doesn’t mean we should do the electric slide on edge of Grand Canyon. It means the scariest things in life can be eclipsed by God almighty. Because he is, we no longer need to fear failure, or embarrassment, or the meanness of others.
He alone is to be feared, and he loves us.
The almighty, all-powerful God of the universe is with you. Fear not.
It’s hard not to be scared. God understands that too. Read through these Psalms and be encouraged. God will free you from all your fears.
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalms 91:1 – 91:3
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalms 56:3 56:4
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
“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.”
Psalms 46:1 – 46:2
“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;”
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
Psalms 121:1 – 121:2
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
Psalms 3:5 – 3:6
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.”
“Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.”
“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?”
Psalms 94:18 – 19, 22
“When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.”
Psalms 112:7 – 112:8
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.”
“In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.”
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