|Volume 23 Number 6 June 2021
Jerry R. Kendall
Someone described today as the “Age of Phobias.” There are many who are buried under their fears. The fears one has within are often as dangerous as the foes without. Fear is the enemy of achievement and advancement. Fear has been referred to as “the most crippling of emotions.” Fear can lead God’s children to function ineffectively and to be unhappy. Do we remember as a child singing, ‘‘Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?” Let me tell you, I was!
There were a lot of things I feared as a child, but with maturing, my thinking and reasoning changed (1 Corinthians 13:11). I found something in my Lord that enabled me to deal with many of my fears (1 John 4:18).
Bible fear may refer to running away or fleeing panic-stricken from battle. Growing up should cause us to realize “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:4 7), and ‘giants’ of fear are defeated by Him. Fear can also mean reverence for an exalted ruler, especially God. All need enough knowledge to fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) and to obey Him (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Fear may refer to the feeling one experiences in the presence of someone who is infinitely his superior. There are many mighty men in this world, but there is only one Almighty before Whom we should bow in complete submission (Jeremiah 42:11; Exodus 18:21). Before Him we should have the attitude of awe and humility (Proverbs 15:33; Acts 10:2, 22). The most terrifying thing should be to face the living God unprepared (Hebrews 10:31). The Lord does not give fearfulness to His followers, which is the spirit of cowardice, but He strengthens them to stand and to withstand (2 Timothy 1:7; Revelation 21:8).
Paul asked his fellow Christians to pray that he would be bold (lacking fear) in his preaching (Ephesians 6:19; Philippians 1:20). Through Paul’s courage, others overcame their fear and spoke God’s Word boldly (Philippians 1:14).
What or whom do we fear the most? Fear is found for many reasons: failure, loneliness, facing change, the unknown future, decision-making, expected to accept responsibility, rejection, heights, possible pain, punishment, darkness, what others may say or do, insecurity, upsetting someone, death or going to Hell.
What everyone needs is the fear of the Lord. This proper fear makes one teachable and reachable (Proverbs 9:10), leads to holiness of life (2 Corinthians 7:10), prolongs and enhances life (Proverbs 10:27) and gives true security (Proverbs 3:21-26).
We might laugh at a child who is afraid of the big, bad, wolf or of the dark, but how sad it is when one out of fear won’t come from darkness to the Lord of light (1 John 1:6-7).
How Firm a Foundation!
You never know the strength of your structure until the storm hits. Houses can look nice, strong and solid, but it is not until the winds howl against them and the waters rise to move them that you really know their strength or weakness. A structure that can take repeated blows from the weather and wind is a place where you can hang your hat.
The strength of any building, as all builders know, is the foundation. If it is well laid, then even a shoddy frame may stand. Foundation is everything. However, the thing about foundations is that they are usually hidden. That part of the structure is not the attractive part, and so many times, a home buyer is unaware of the strength of his place until the storm hits. Of course, if there are flaws, it may be too late to fix them.
We are passing through a big storm, but not without purpose. Life’s storms hit everyone, but lives built on the Rock (Matthew 16:16-19) will survive and will stand (Matthew 7:24-27).
God uses the storms of life to show us what we have and what needs to be shored up. So, how are you holding up?
There Stands a Rock
Some build their hopes on the ever-drifting sand,
Some on their fame, or their treasure, or their land;
Mine’s on the Rock that forever shall stand-
Jesus, the Rock of Ages.