MIF 20:6 (Nov-Dec 1988)
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10)
Fear is a basic human emotion and came into the world when Adam sinned by disobeying God. When he heard God calling him, he was afraid and hid himself (Genesis 3:10). We live in a world where sin is rampant and men’s hearts are failing them because of fear. But God has made provision in His Word to remove fear for those who will trust and obey Him. The phrase “fear not” is found throughout the Bible whenever God wants to speak reassuringly to us and draw us nearer to Himself. This is in contrast to the reverential fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). “Fear not” is addressed only to those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, because God speaks to us only through His Son, Jesus Christ. When the Apostle Paul was depressed in spirit, the Lord spoke to him in a vision, saying, “Be not afraid … for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee” (Acts 18:9-10).
In the First Epistle of John we find love and fear in their proper relationship to each other. We read in 4:18, “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.” When God’s love is being perfected in us, there is no room for fear and it is cast out. Fear is its own torment, or punishment, and it is the natural result of sin on the conscience. It keeps us at a distance from God until His love is completed in us and fear is cast out.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you … let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).