Posts Tagged ‘ Fear ’

VerseD: Isaiah 29:13

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
Isaiah 29:13, ESV

Do not worry about what the majority says, and traditions can be good. But if anything contradicts His Word or leads people into temptation and sin, it is our fearing men and their teachings.

We must rely on the Word of God.

The Opposite of Love

I know (for most of you, at least) that you read ” the opposite of love” and think “is hate.”

I disagree. (And if you already know what I think about this, please hold your comments until the end. Thanks.)

Hatred comes from one of two places.

The first is loving something/someone so much that you want to protect that love. Anything that interferes with or threatens that bond or the well-being of the object of love is rightfully hated.

“do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”
Zechariah 8:17, ESV

As a reminder, this does not mean we hate people. People are acting out from the real problem: sin, the evil within.

We hate the sin. (We can have another conversation at another time about the saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Also, another another conversation can be had about jealousy.)

The second source of hatred is also the true opposite of love.

What is this?

I will ask a few questions to get us there:

  1. What was Adam and Eve’s reaction to hearing God walking through the Garden after eating the fruit? (Genesis 3:10)
  2. What was the reaction of Peter when he saw the wind and the waves when walking on the water?
  3. What is the one reassuring command given throughout Scripture? (for example Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 8:12; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:13, 30; Philippians 4:6)

Hopefully you see it now!

The opposite of love is fear.

Fear leads to all kinds of craziness, such as avoiding others, making mistakes, hurting others, and even hatred.

This is not to say that fear always leads to hatred. Hatred can come from misplaced love (loving self or something more than is good) or ignorance (both innocent and willful ignorance). This is a mixture of the first source of hatred and fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18, ESV

Loving others frees us of hatred and the fear of what they may do to us.

Love also frees us of the fear of God’s punishment for our sin, but only when we see the truth that He loved us and showed it by coming as a man to sacrifice Himself for the forgiveness of our sin. This is also what empowers us to love others. (1 John 4:19)

It is also what reminds us that, while we are born into and perpetuate the sin of Adam and Eve, we are freed from that sin.

VerseD: Psalm 42:11

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 42:11, ESV

Praising God is the best way to get out of a funk of depression, worry/anxiety, confusion, and fear.

Hope in God, your salvation.

VerseD: 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18, ESV

When found in Christ, we are no longer condemned. The fear of punishment is gone.

We should still tremble before a mighty God, but our fear should transform into not wanting to disappoint our loving God who first loved us.

VerseD: 2 Corinthians 12:10

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV

A 7th Grade student once told me to live a weak life.

If you have a weakness – illness, disability, fear, inability – Christ may use it to glorify Himself through you. Let Christ use you.

VerseD: Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Matthew 6:25, ESV

It is easy to worry about things in this life.

To fight this, we should be so focused on The Life (Jesus) that we cannot help but trust that He is taking care of us.

VerseD: Isaiah 41:13

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
Isaiah 41:13 ESV

Trust God to work out everything in His time and His way. It may not look how we expect, so have faith that He is helping you. At the very least, ak for strength and wisdom, which He gives willingly and abundantly (James 1:5).