IN SCRIPTURE, TWO KINDS OF FEAR ARE DESCRIBED:
- The first kind of fear is commanded and good. It is a Godly fear - "the fear of God"
"Let us serve God... with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). Definition: A reverential affection for God flowing from a sense of His love.
- The second kind of fear is not commendable or good. This fear is "desedemonia" or "the fear of demons." It is the superstition of the city of Athens in Acts 17:22 and is evident in those with no relationship with God.
INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT GRACE FEAR:
- Rejection: by God and man. But believers know... "We are accepted in the Beloved One." (Ephesians 1:6)
- Death. But believers understand... "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Psalm 116:15). "To me to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
- Suffering or Pain. But believers say... "Blessed be the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation. That we may be able to comfort (others) by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (II Corinthians 1:3,4)
- The Future. But believers know... "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
- Man. However, for believers... "We may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:6)
FEAR IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER IS EVIDENCE OF:
- A guilty conscience. "Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt." (John Flavel)
- A faulty theology. "We fear men so much because we fear God so little." (William Gurnall)
- A stronghold of sin. "Let none but the servants of sin be the slaves of fear" (John Flavel). "The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1).
- A pride of life. "We are so afraid of being offensive that we are not effective." (Vance Havner)
- A performance mentality. "The chains of love are stronger than the chains of fear." (William Gurnall)
Plagues and deaths around me fly
Till He bids, I cannot die
Not a single shaft can hit
Till the God of love sees fit.
Though troubles assail
And dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail,
And foes all unite;
yet one thing secures us,
The Scripture answers us,
The Lord will provide.
"I adore and kiss the providence of my Lord,
who knoweth well what is most expedient for me,
and for you, and your children."
"God's providence towards His church renders unnecessary
all tormenting fears respecting her safety and final triumph."
(William S. Plumer)