Fear can be so stifling!
I did a quick search of the word “fear” on biblegateway.com and found 437 verses. I think there is a very good reason that it is addressed so much throughout Scripture. Unhealthy fear is sinful distrust in the Lord and I believe it is a common temptation among man.
Fear is real and leads us to many other sins. For me - particularly in my response to my husband’s sin - it has shown up in the way of anger, bitterness, disobedience to God and security in idols. All of those things are worth fighting against.
On the other hand, we are to fear God. We appropriately obey those that we fear. Not because they are frightening, but because they have our interest at heart. Examples include a loving parent, a respect-worthy boss, a sacrificial husband and ultimately God.
Jon Bloom, President of Desiring God, explained this well in one of his blog posts, “Fear is a faith-revealer. What we fear reveals what we trust. It’s a strong response to a perceived threat commanding us to protect our hope. In that way it governs our behaviors.That means fear really isn’t our problem. If we
fear the wrong things it’s because our faith is in the wrong things.”
And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’
- Job 28:28
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
I noticed again recently that the title for Proverbs 31 is “The Woman Who Fears the Lord.”
As I read the qualities that describe this ideal woman and “excellent wife,” I do not picture someone that is weak, timid or fearful!
The Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good and not harm. She works hard providing food, buying property, planting vineyards, making clothes and selling merchandise. She has strong arms. She is not afraid of the snow. She speaks wisdom and kindness. She laughs at the time to come because it does not scare her. Ultimately, it says that she is to be praised because she fears the Lord!
I believe that I have a responsibility to fight against un-Godly fear. The best way I know how to do that is to combat the things that are lies with the truth of God’s word. After all, the battle is God’s!
Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's.
-2 Chronicles 20:15
Some verses that speak to me in my fight against fear:
What are your fears? What does God say in his word that combats against those fears?
I fear a lot of things that are not of you. Help me to recognize and remember that when I fear I am sinning against you and you alone. Cause my heart to feel the weight of my distrust in you. To understand that when I fear it is displaying my lack of faith.
Let me be known as a woman who fears you! To be like the woman of Proverbs 31 that can laugh at the days to come because her foundation is not in the things of this world. To be like Abraham’s wife, Sarah, and not fear the things that are frightening because I am so sure of the hope I have in you alone.
Let your word be so sweet to me that I cling to it in times of doubt, knowing it is true. Knowing that every battle I face in life is yours.
Trusting You in the Round,
Please stop back on Fridays for more about Erin's story and what God is doing in her marriage.