I’ve been delving into scripture on the topic of fear. I’ve always wondered what the difference was between a general fear (that is not positive) and the fear of the Lord (which is positive). Right now I’m looking through the verses where God tells people not to fear. I’ve only gotten through a few O.T. books so far, and already there are a number of them:
Genesis 15:1 “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.'”
Genesis 21:17 “God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”
Genesis 26:24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I hate that fear is my immediate, intense reaction to anything unknown. The instinct that sucks the breath out of me and paralyzes my heart for one brief, agonizing second. I want to trust and have wonder and awe of God’s plan for my life, but I seem stuck in this cycle. The fear is too strong. Or rather, I have let the fear become too strong.
But in these verses, God tells these people not to be afraid, like it’s easy, something they have control over. And the reason that they should not be afraid is that God is with them.
Is it that easy?
Perfect love casts out fear.
I believe that God’s word is true and that He is the same God now as He was then. His command to me not to fear is one that I, too, can obey, because He is within me.
God produces the faith in me that confronts and completely overcomes the fear. He reminds me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. This is what enables me to break the cycle and follow His winding path. To move past the crippling and soar with the wings of eagles. To overcome the paralysis and walk forward with firm, trusting steps.