Fear of God is the Death of Every Other Fear

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).

The fear of death is one of the most common fears. There were a couple of times where I thought I might die.

  • The first time was when I was regularly flying out to Uganda, Africa. There was a time period when there had been multiple killings and muggings of tourists on the road from the airport to the capital city of Kampala. American tourists and visitors were warned by the US to not take cabs or rides with people they didn’t know.

    I flew out and got onto the hotel shuttle bus. Instead of taking me to the hotel, the driver took me to a darkened field where three other Ugandans got on the bus. I thought to myself, “Well, this is it. If I’m going down, I’m not going down without a fight.”

    They ended up being workers at the hotel and all of us and the bus made it safely back to the hotel. But for a moment there, I really thought this was it.
  • The second time was when the heart surgeon told me and Helen, “One in ten who have the procedure you are about to have die in the US. So, get your papers in order. Meet with a lawyer. Have a will.”

Both times, what surprised me was the lack of fear. I mean, I was nervous but there was no terror. I was not worried. I knew without a shadow of doubt what would happen when I drew my last breath here on earth. Death didn’t scare me because I knew who and what awaited me on the other side of death.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “The fear of God is the death of every other fear.” And, he’s absolutely right.

That we go through harrowing times? That’s normal.

That we face really difficult times? Nothing strange about that.

That we all die? That’s life.

And through it all, God is with us. God is our Father. God is our Savior.

There is never a there where God is not there.

Love and Hate

“Let those who love the LORD hate evil” (Psalm 97:10).

Let those who love…hate.

Hmmm.

We don’t often think of these two things – love and hate – in the same sentence. For us, we think love excludes hate. We often think that when one loves there is no room for hate. But unless love hates, it cannot be love.

Loving God does not mean loving everything. Loving God means to hate everything that is not God. Loving God means to hate the opposite of who God is. Loving God must mean hating evil because God hates evil.

It is impossible to love God and love evil.

The more we love God, the more we hate evil. A friend of God becomes the enemy of evil.

I pray that we become a people who love the LORD more and more by hating evil in us and in our world more and more.

Pathway to Joy

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

A broken spirit…
A broken and contrite heart…

Why a broken spirit? Why a broken and contrite heart? Why is it that a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart is a sacrifice God will not despise?

Why not a joyful heart?

That’s a good question.

Look at it from the opposite position.

  • A broken spirit – A proud spirit
  • A broken and contrite heart – A proud and unrepentant/defiant heart

Now you see why?

The pathway to joy begins with confession and repentance. It is when we see sin as God sees it and turn from our wicked ways that a life of forgiveness and joy is possible.

  • A proud spirit, a proud and defiant heart will never confess.
  • A proud spirit, a proud and unrepentant heart will never turn from their wicked ways.

Listen to what God has to say about a pride and a defiant heart.

  • “I hate pride and arrogance” – Proverbs 8:13
  • “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” – James 4:6
  • “The LORD detests all the proud of heart” – Proverbs 16:5
  • “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” – Proverbs 16:18

The pathway to joy begins with confession and repentance. God is a God who is for-giving.

God loves you. May we offer to God a broken and contrite heart that God may forgive and heal our hearts.