Proverbs 2:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP): “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
1 John 4:17-19: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
In these blogs dealing with Bible Answers, one of the most puzzling topics to some is the difference between godly fear and tormenting fear. We must resolve what may seem like a contradiction when the Bible tells us that Jesus loves us and came to set us free from fear, while on the other hand we are told to fear God. The two scriptures above define those two kinds of fear and will give us a better understanding of what the Bible has to say about the subject.
Mark 4:37- 41: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples when they became fearful because of a storm that arose while they were with Him in a boat on the sea. Jesus was resting, asleep in the boat when the storm hit and in panic they woke Him up and asked Him if he really cared for them, as it looked like they would perish. As His children today, when we become fearful, we take this same attitude when our personal “storms of life” look like we might sink. Even though the Lord is with us, we act as if He is not there to do anything. The disciples forgot that Jesus told them to get in the boat and go with Him to the other side. Since He told them where they were going, they could have trusted Him to get them there. They had seen Him do miracles for many, but doubted that He could do a miracle for them. They forgot He was the true Master of everything, even the wind and the storm. We can find ourselves in the same place if we look at the storm instead of looking to Jesus, the Master of the universe, who has power over the storm. He is the One that can bring peace into any situation and has the answer for every problem we face.
We need to understand that fear is the opposite of faith. We cannot operate in fear and faith at the same time. Now, how can we overcome fear and walk in faith?
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Jesus knew we would live in a time where we would be exposed to multiplied fears all around us; yet the Bible tells us in many places that God does not want us to be fearful. He also explained that fear does not come from God, but rather God wants us to walk in His power, His love and to have a sound mind. People who yield to the spirit of fear can, at some point, become emotionally unstable or end up in bondage that keeps them from functioning normally. I have known a number of people that allowed fear to rule them to such a degree that they no longer fly on an airplane because of fear of it crashing, or they refuse to drive on freeways for the same reason. No longer can they make decisions based on the will of God, but rather fear keeps them from doing the things the Lord wants them to do. Fear has torment and it can even affect our bodies by the stress it causes. Actually fear is at the root of stress and anxiety. Years ago, I personally suffered with this tormenting emotion until the Lord set me free. I was one of those people who was tempted never to fly again after a long stressful flight years ago. However, I was determined not to allow the enemy to keep me from doing anything the Lord wanted me to do.