How to Be Filled with Proper Fear
With everything going on in our world right now, we daily face the question of what tomorrow will hold. Each of us is confronting a reality that has always been true: we are not in control.
When we grasp how true this really is, it’s easy to become filled with anxiety and fear. I find it fascinating when reading through Scripture that God, the One who knows everything that was and is and is to come, including our present crisis, still commands us to “fear not.” Not only are we commanded to fear not, it is actually the most frequent command in all of Scripture. So the question must be asked: is it possible to face absolute uncertainty, even suffering, and be able to fear not? The resounding answer from Scripture is yes, not only can we fear not, but we are able to experience peace, joy, and contentment no matter our circumstances.
God, the One who knows everything that was and is and is to come, including our present crisis, still commands us to “fear not.”
God has not called the Christian to a life lived in bondage to fear, worry, or anxiety. We are told in Philippians 4:4 to not be anxious about anything. This is more easily said than done, yet it’s possible not because of anything within us, but because of the character of our God. The apostle Paul, having been shipwrecked, beaten, and imprisoned, is the one who wrote these words.
Paul writes knowing God is in control. In light of this beautiful truth, he gives us the key to unlocking peace. God promises us peace if we submit our requests to Him with thanksgiving, remembering that the LORD is at hand. We are told in scripture that all things work out according the counsel of His will (Ephesians 11:1). As we humbly come before our God, we can throw all our cares on Him knowing He cares for us! We are promised peace that will transcend our understanding. The God of peace will be with us as we turn our focus away from fearing the things of the world and toward a new perspective of Scripture.
We must be filled with the proper type of fear. God has called us away from the fear of the world to the fear of Himself. It’s important to define what this fear is: fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid of Him as we may be afraid of evil, sickness, or death. This word “fear” means reverence, awe, and respect. It means to worship Him. When we realize who our God is, it allows us to see the tragic events that are happening in the world today, whether coronavirus or our own personal tragedies, in light of Gods control. When we realize we serve a God who is in control and works all things for our good and the praise of His glorious grace, it allows us to see the world from a different perspective.
The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. (Proverbs 19:23)
The rewards of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him. (Psalm 33:18)
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence. (Proverbs 14:26)
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him. (Psalm 34:7)
We can and must grasp onto these truths. We must rest in God. When crisis hits, we have the opportunity to take hold of a peace that transcends our understanding. Let’s begin today dwelling before the Lord as never before, knowing Him, studying Him, and cultivating a heart that desires holiness and truth so deeply we fear our Lord over anything else.