What is fear according to the Bible? Faith Overcomes Fear

There are different misconceptions about the meaning of dear and what the bible describes it as. When we hear the word “fear”, the first thing that comes to the mind is to be afraid of something or to be scared of something that can inflict harm on someone.

We have read in the bible much time where God is telling His people not to be afraid but to have a sound mind, it is also in the Bible that it is good to have fear,  and then lastly, we must fear God. These three explanations that were given by the bible might cause a kind of confusion truly but we need to look at what the bible means at each instance.

“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 KJV

“Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”

Proverbs 28:14 KJV

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10 KJV

These are three verses of the bible talking about fear in different ways. The first is about an encouragement that we should not be afraid of anything while the second says it is good to be afraid always, and the third says, we must fear the Lord.

If we want to explain what fear is about without the scripture, then we will just get one meaning but if we want to go by the scriptures, there are three meanings to fear – these meanings were gotten from the application of fear.

Fighting Fear

This is like the general meaning of fear. It is normal for anyone to be afraid of something but allowing that thing you are afraid to get the best of you is what we should avoid. That is why we were told in the scriptures that we should avoid being afraid. Fear can make one do dangerous things – it also pushes one to rush to do things.

Fear is the major cause of panic attacks. A medical condition that is a detriment to health. This kind of fear can be gotten from the different situations around. The loss of loved ones can bring fear. Ine thing that Jesus told us to do to avoid fear is to stop worrying.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Matthew 6:34 KJV

Many times God warned against being afraid in the Bible. Fear does not portray you as the child of God. God is powerful and he has the power to help from any danger that anyone may find themselves.

Avoiding Danger

The second meaning of fear is that for one to avoid danger. Some people chose to harden their hearts and do some things that could take their lives. An example, if there is a shootout in the street and you refuse to find any way to run away from around that scene, it may yield to you getting shot. This is what the bible was talking about when it said, “happy is the man who fears” (Proverbs 28:14). Those who harden their hearts and do not know when to run will face the consequences of their actions. 

Some people think this verse of the bible is contradicting the other places where the bible says we should not be afraid. The better understanding of this scripture will give people an insight into what the bible was saying.

Running away from sinful acts is a way of avoiding danger too – you are afraid of the danger that might come from the acts of sin. It will be unwise for anyone to purposely get into trouble because God has commanded that we should not be afraid of anything. “Fear not” which comes from God doesn’t work like that.

A cross in a blue evening sky - What is fear according to the Bible?

Obeying God and His words

The third is the fear of the Lord. What does the fear of the Lord mean? We can explain the fear of the Lord in two ways. The first is to hate the things that God hates because He will judge those who do them. GOD has the power to destroy the evil and the wicked people on earth – having this knowledge brings the spirit of the fear of the Lord and it is the wisest thing to do. That is why the bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. 

“The Lord fears to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”

Proverbs 8:13 KJV

The second meaning is to marvel at the awesomeness of God, His mighty power and His greatness. The one who has created heaven and earth must be powerful and have the power to destroy them. This kind of person should be greatly feared.

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.  The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.”

Psalm 147:5-6 KJV

According to research, everyone tends to be afraid. Everyone in the world must have had a kind of panic attack before. It is part of man, it is the nature of man. But the Bible says God has not given us the spirit of fear. If God has not given us the spirit of fear, then why should we still be afraid at some point in life?

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

What does this verse mean? The spirit of fear that the Lord has not given us is the fear of an ordinary man. It is good to know when to run from danger, it is also a wise choice to fear the Lord but being afraid of an ordinary man to the extent of submitting to them and then through that, you forget God, God had not given that kind of spirit.

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:28 KJV

Understanding fear from the view of the scriptures helps to balance the spiritual life and the physical life. It helps to know how to fear the Lord and how to use fear to avoid troubles.

Put your mind on God and have a Christ-like mind. This can be done by reading the word of God, praying and fasting. The closer we draw towards God, the less fear we have from the evil one. Remove any temptations out of your life and as Jesus said, don’t worry about tomorrow and live for today – Matthew 6.34.

Time for another quick read? Head over to the blog roll and get closer to the Lord our God.

Latest Articles