“We are to fear Him: that is, in other words, we are to cherish an awful sense of His infinite grandeur and excellence, corresponding to the revelation He has made of these in His works and Word, inducing a conviction that His favor is the greatest of all blessings, and His disapprobation (disapproval) the greatest of all evils, and manifesting itself in leading us practically to seek His favor as the chief good we can enjoy, and avoid His disapprobation as the most tremendous evil we can be subjected to. Such is the fear which the Christian man ought to cherish and manifest towards God.”
~ John Brown (1784-1858)
“My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.”
~ Psalm 55:5 (NKJV)
In this Psalm, King David was dealing with two kinds of fears – external fears and internal fears. He feared the loss of the kingdom. He was being overthrown by his own son (see 2 Samuel 15:7-15). The nation was in tumult and confusion. He feared what would become of his throne and the future of Israel itself. He had all these external, or outward fears that had washed over him and consumed him.
Likewise, King David was dealing with heavy and severe inward fear as well. The Bible says David’s heart was severely pained with him. And I can imagine – not only was there a mutiny in the land of Israel, but it was at the hand of his most loved and cherished son. David was struggling with the fear of death – ‘the terror of death has fallen upon me’. David was on the run for his life from his own child. In this prayer, he simply confesses it has overwhelmed him.
Fear, both outward and inward, are not something reserved for people of old. God’s people deal with the reality of fear everyday. What do you fear? Do you fear illness? Failure? Change? Death? Whatever form it takes, our fears can, at times, overwhelm us.
Yet, when we truly put God first and fear Him the most, all other worldly fears melt away. Psalm 56:4 reads, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Fear of the Lord. This fear, cast out the others. The more we come to worship, trust, love and serve and Him, the smaller our other fears will seem. David took his concerns to God in prayer and his God sustained and strengthen him to cast away his every fear.
Be of good cheer! It is I…~ Mark 6:50 (NKJV)
What a pronouncement! Such a blessed introduction! ‘It is I, thy Lord and Savior!’ Whenever Jesus comes to us, it should illicit cheer. His near presence in our lives is the only true source of peace, comfort and joy. The disciples feared the winds that had arose against them that night on the sea, but the Lord’s voice in a time of trouble brought calm to their souls. May we remember those wonderful words apply just as much today as they did when Christ first spoke them. He desires to be our delight and to bring serenity to our soul. Christ Jesus aspires for His presence in our lives to be the most celebrated thing about us. So be of good cheer, Jesus is here!
[God’s] eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps. ~ Job 34:21
Note: Even though the Bible teaches God is Spirit, the Lord is sometimes described in Scripture using human features. He is said to have human characteristics. I think the best way to interpret the passages that speak of God in this manner is not literally, but figuratively. And the Lord uses this human (anthropomorphic) language to describe certain attributes, not so we know what He looks like, but so we can better relate to Him and understand more fully who He is in our relationship to Him.
It has been said the eye is the window to the soul. There is something about looking someone in the eye. There is an honesty, purity, and clarity the eyes find hard to hide. When the Bible speaks of God’s eyes, or the eyes of the Lord, is speaks to His full awareness or knowledge of all things. God is omniscient. Nothing is unknown to Him. From beginning to end, the ways of man are plain in His sight. As Proverbs 15:3 reads, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” For those who trust Him, God’s watchful eye is a wonderful blessing. We can know He sees our afflictions. God knows our condition, and will come to our aid. But for those who do not fear the Lord, His knowledge of their sin will ultimately be what condemns them. Therefore, fear the Lord, take comfort in Him, for His eyes are upon you.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love…~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
The Christian spirit should be one of boldness, courage and might. Often times, the timidity and humility that should shroud the Christian’s demeanor is misunderstood as weakness, frailty or even fear. But hidden inside the inner believer, deep inside the heart of the true follow of Christ, there lies the potential for a spirit of holy endurance, perseverance and strength.
The Lord Jesus showed His disciples this kind of reserved yet powerful spirit when He confronted the false teachers and corrupt religious men of His day. He demonstrated that though a meek and lowly figure, He would fashion a whip and drive those evil men out of the temple who sought to desecrate it. The spirit of Christ was a spirit of strength and might.
The spirit God has endowed the believer with is not only one of power, but also of love. It is good that strength and power be tempered by love. It is also worth noting it is only perfect love that truly cast out fear. Nothing will do more in the Christian life to cast out all our fear and doubt and foster in us a boldness for Christ than the love we have for Him.
Paul desired to encourage Timothy in his walk with Christ by reminding him of the kind of spirit God had imparted to him. A spirit not of fear, but of power and love. If you, dear reader, are currently walking in spiritual doubt or fear; if your spirit lacks the power and love you sincerely desire, seek the Lord, draw near to Christ in prayer and supplication, and come to more fully realize the kind of spirit God has intended for you as well.