Having courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to control fear in a dangerous or difficult situation. When you have the courage to control fear, you are able to at least try to attempt that which frightens you. After all, there is no reason to be courageous if you are not afraid.
So how do you control situations that cause you to fear? And where does this courage to overcome fear come from? Well, when you know that God is with you. Psalm 23:4 says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” When God is with you, you have nothing to fear, for who can be more powerful than the Creator of the Universe? Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” You see, one of His promises is that He is with us always, wherever we go.
Here’s where it gets a little confusing, courage that honors God requires fear. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? We need to understand though, this courage comes from our faith in God and in our abilities, which were given to us by God whom we are to fear. Romans 3:18 says that our chief sin is that “we have no fear of God at all”.
An article in Christianity Today, entitled “Fearing God”, William D. Eisenhower put it this way: “Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.”
Oh, how I can relate to what Mr. Eisenhower says, “He rescues me but He sets me free, He humbles me and then gives me inspiration, He sees my sin and yet forgives.” Thank you, Lord, for giving Your love to me, so completely!
Fear is one of those feelings that we don’t even know it is there until it is, and suddenly, we have to re–act to what we are fearful of. But, by trusting in God, He will take away this fear, for He is always with us. We just need to be willing to put our faith and trust in Him.
Fear of God has many benefits that go along with it. First of all, Psalm 111:10 says “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” And Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but onlyfools despise wisdom and instruction.” Through ourfearfulness of God, we see Him as our Protector. If we put our trust and faith in Him, He will always be with us and “deliver us from evil”. Proverbs 19:23 tells us “The fear of the Lord leads to life, rest, peace and contentment.”
May the fear of God lead us to find the knowledge that He is our source for courage and through His Word we will find wisdom and His love for us.
My Prayer: Heavenly Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Creator of living things, how awed I am by Your love for me. Thank You for being a fearless God and also, for my fearfulness of You that through this fearfulness I seek shelter in You. Thank You for showing me that my courage comes from placing my faith in You and may it be a statement of love and understanding for You and for those seeking You. I pray that You will share with me the message of Your steadfast love, that I may share it with others who are searching for You. In Jesus’s name I pray and may the Peace of Christ be with you all, Amen!