Whether fear is from God, He can use all things for His good. God wants us, as his children, to be successful. It is when we choose to allow fear to stop our progress that we allow the opposition to win. God can use fear for good if we choose His path.
Fear is a word that is very similar to the word love, in that they each have multiple meanings. Love is a feeling, an action and a noun. Fear also has many meanings. In The Bible there are two definitions for the word fear; fear of the world and man, or fear of the Lord.
Here are 10 reasons why God wants us to be afraid.
1. Fear leads to safety
The fight or flight system in the human race has kept us alive for centuries. Fear and anxiety keep us from being too stupid, like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or running away from a growling grizzly bear instead of toward it. Sometimes God desires us to fear in order to make better, smarter choices.
2. Fear leads to respect
Fear as it is spoken of in the Bible refers to a reverence and respect for God. This can be compared to a young child fearing an authority figure or father. When Dad says don't do that, the child ideally listens. What we really fear is the judgement, not the father.
3. Fear can be a positive motivator
If we fear a particular situation or outcome we are motivated to take action to avoid it. I fear what would happen if I didn't pay the bills, so it motivates me to work. I fear what might happen if I never exercise, so I am motivated to do so. In a similar manner, I fear what would happen if I did not show respect for and worship God. This fear motivates me to pay more attention to my choices.
4. Fear can be a signal that you are doing the right thing
Choices can be challenging, especially when we are working to achieve a goal. Difficult choices are almost always accompanied by fear. The opposition never wants us to succeed. We may recognize that every time we attempt to do something out of our comfort zone, we are scared. Every time anyone tries to step up to the next level of success, there is fear. It can be a sign of progress. If we are always afraid of what the world will think of us for following our heart, we can be assured that our heart is speaking a truth to our soul.
As we practice what scares us, we can overcome those challenges. Public speaking, for example, can be scary. But with practice, those apprehensions can be overcome. Therapists use this desensitization technique to help people overcome phobias.
6. Fear creates courage and strength
When we face fear, we gain courage. Courage is doing what is right, in spite of fear. There is no courage if there is no fear.
7. Fear keeps you alert and gives you energy
A bit of anxiety helps our system pump adrenaline and makes us pay more attention to our surroundings and situations. When we dwell on stress and fear rather than moving through those things, the devilish fear is the kind that keeps us stuck.
8. Fear causes reliance on the Lord
The best way to get un-stuck from unbearable fear is to ask for help. God hopes that we turn to Him and rely on His word to keep us safe.
9. Fear leads to knowledge
Proverbs 1:7 declares, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. ... "
Psalms 111:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." As we learn to rely on the Lord and trust His guidance, we will gain knowledge.
10. We experience fear because God loves us
In his article, "Fearing God" in "Christianity Today," William D. Eisenhower said, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion."
Fear accompanies the expectation of punishment. Love casts fear and doubt away. To cast fear away there must be faith and a measure of trust. Exercising faith leads to confidence in His love and knowledge. When we have knowledge we have less fear because what we fear most is the unknown. When we trust in God He will bring all things to our knowledge because He loves us. Going through the process of eliminating fear makes us appreciate what we have.
We worry about how the world sees us. We fear that we might get embarrassed or shamed by our peers. The reason we should fear God is that His opinion is much more important than the world's opinion of us. He loves us and offers opportunities for growth. He encourages us to rely on Him. Fear reminds us that we need more than our own abilities to make it through this world.