So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
Those who fear God fear nothing else. To be sure, we can expect difficulties in this life. Jesus warned us that “In this world you will have trouble” and “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 16:33, 15:20). But what is there to fear from those who are under the complete control of the only One we must fear— God Himself?
Carried along by the Holy Spirit, David gave God-fearers this assurance in one of his psalms:
My enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. . . . [I]n God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:9, 11)
God-fearers fear nothing and no one but God. Now, I have said here before that “the fear of God” I am speaking of is not some kind of slavish fear that keeps us from drawing near to Him. Rather, it is awe and reverence for the majesty and holiness of the God who created and sustains all things and who welcomes us into His presence.
Those who have not trusted in Jesus often find this world a fearful place, so terrifying that “the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight” (Leviticus 26:36). Believing that he has come from the dust and is ultimately heading back to the dust to be worm food, feeling no specific purpose in this life other than satisfying self, the unbeliever is held captive to the dread produced by the religion of this world: survival of the fittest. When “fitness” fails, fear results.
God-fearers fear nothing but God. Having been chosen in Christ before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), having been bought with the precious blood of the Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), what is there to fear from mere mortals? The world can only do to us what God allows it to do. And we know that whatever God allows it is for two reasons: our good and His glory.
Have you been feeling any fear lately? Maybe you’re worried about the future. Perhaps fear has touched you through an unwelcome doctor’s report or a financial reversal. Regardless, always remember that the Lord is your helper and He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. He is with you every step of the way as you progress on your pilgrimage to the Celestial City . . . and He will be with you for all eternity after that!
You may recall that Jesus told His disciples to get into a boat and “go over to the other side of the lake.” However, when fierce storm winds began to blow, the disciples quickly forgot the Lord’s promise that they would reach the other side. They were gripped with fear and cried, “Master, we’re going to drown!” (Luke 8:22-24). They took their eyes off their Savior and focused on the size of the storm, which is always a formula for producing man-centered fear.
Fear God, and Him only, and you need never fear anything else in this life. God-fearers know that the One they fear will sustain them in both sunshine and storm. Remember, Jesus has promised safe passage into our promised land—He has promised to get us to the other side of the lake—but He never promised that the journey would be without storms along the way. Nevertheless, God-fearers echo the writer of Hebrews and “say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!