Proverbs tells us that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10). But what does that mean? According to Google, fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” That doesn’t seem to make sense in this context, as fear is often debilitating. However, if you keep looking, google provides an archaic definition of the word fear: a mixed feeling of dread and reverence. Aha! That’s what we are after!
I, however, have noticed over the last few months how many people live and operate in the first definition of fear – a constant state of feeling like something bad is going to happen. This becomes their M.O. For some it’s a fear of failure or not being good enough. There is fear of the future and future failure from today’s mistakes. There are those who live their Christian faith constantly out of fear that they will slip up and lose their salvation or that they are too “bad” for God to love. All these fears break my heart.
Yet, if I’m truly honest with myself, I have been living with an awful lot of fear lately. I have had such a challenging pregnancy, and an upcoming delivery. Based on my past experiences in this department, it’s so easy for me to let myself become so overwhelmed with fear and dread that it can be paralyzing. But when I come to the feet of Jesus and see His truth I am reminded again and again not to worry, and not to fear. God is not a God of fear. He is a got of love and trust and security.
Paul’s words to Timothy ring true for us today, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity [or fear], but of power and love and sound judgement.” (2 Timothy 1:7) God’s design is not that we live in or operate out of fear, but that we trust His power, His love and the truth of His word.
I have decided to accept the simple verse in one of my children’s scripture songs: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3). I am looking forward to reading what else Paul has to say about leaving behind fear and living in total trust of my God. My hope is that by filling my mind with the truth, all fear will be crowded out. Will you join me?