A Time To Fear

August 4, 2015

                                                A Time To Fear

“Fear not; be of good courage” is the advice we are often given. That is good advice, but there is a time to fear. For our safety and emotional well-being we need to know when and what to fear and when and what not to fear.

The word “fear” occurs 516 times in the Bible. That should tell us that it is a subject that merits our attention. In the majority of the references to fear in the Bible it is telling us that we should fear.

Fear is a natural instinct in men and animals. All of us fear death. That is for our protection. Therefore we have to admit that there is a time to fear.

To know what to fear, we need to know what has the potential to do us harm. If you see a black swirling cloud approaching you better fear and run for shelter. Not all threatening dangers are as obvious as tornado clouds. Sometimes young people are confused about what they should fear. Sometimes they succumb to an immediate threat and expose themselves to a much greater threat in the future. For example, if young people are invited by their peers to take illicit drugs they often give in to peer pressure. It would be much more prudent to risk their disapproval than put themselves in danger of becoming a drug addict.

Many are badly lacking in discernment. Before you embark on a course of life, you should ask yourself, “Where will this take me?” Buying on credit may lead to the day when you will have to declare bankruptcy. Living on junk food may destroy your health. Illicit sex may expose you to venereal disease. These are just a few examples. We need to fear the consequences of our actions. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus tells us whom to fear and whom not to fear. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The Bible tells us that there is a time to take heed and fear the consequences. Matthew 24:4 says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Mark 8:15 says, “he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” The word “leaven,” as it is used here, means wickedness. Just because influential people do something doesn’t make it right. Some prominent politicians are liars. That doesn’t make it right.

If we have discernment we don’t need to live with fear. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We just need to take heed to that which has the potential of robing us of peace and well-being. If we fear the Lord and keep his commandments we don’t need to fear anything or anyone. To fear the Lord means to hold him in reverence. He merits reverance because of who he is and what he has done. Deuteronomy 6:2 says, “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee.” Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” To obey the Lord may result in trials, but God has promised to supply our needs. In Philippians 4:13 he promises strength sufficient for every need. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” In II Corinthians 12:9 he promises to give us grace in spite of our weakness. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

There is much to learn about fear. Our peace can be taken from us if we have fears that are unfounded. It can also be taken from us if we don’t fear that which should be feared. You need to learn what to fear and what not to fear.

If you have questions or comments you can direct them to us at the following web site:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

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