1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
I once heard someone say that “do not fear” was written in the Bible 365 times – one for every day of the week. I loved that; but then I realized it wasn’t true and after studying the subject further, found that ‘do not fear’ is commanded a little over a hundred times. Still, God says it quite a significant amount of times.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Scriptures such as these encourage me. You and I have nothing to fear because God’s love casts out fear. He is the protector, the provider, the rock. With Him, we have nothing to FEAR.
Deuteronomy 6:13, “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.”
Joshua 24:14, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”
Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
The very instructions not to fear in the Bible, which is found some 100+ times; the very same word is used in the context of God to fear Him. To take these scriptures and rationally lay them out – we are told “do not fear;” “love God;” “perfect love cast out fear;” but, “fear the Lord.” Looking at it this way, it seems contradictory and confusing.
Perfect love casts out fear but the fear of the Lord brings wisdom. When we sin, we fear the consequences. When struggles come our way and hardships surround us, we fear the outcome. Because of the love of Jesus Christ, He took the burdens of our sins and trials and hardships and conquered them on the Cross. The only thing to fear is being without God; being away from His presence; being outside His protection. The fear of the Lord is being outside of Him; but His perfect love for us forces our fears away. He is BIGGER than anything we could ever encounter. He is STRONGER than anything that could ever harm us. He is more POWERFUL than any evil force that could influence us. What we have to do is stay in His perfect love and fear has NO hold on us.
Today, pray about your fears. Understand that your faith in God doesn’t prevent scary things from coming into your life; your faith in God equips you to handle them.