HAVING THE RIGHT KIND OF FEAR
There is a kind of fear from which the true believer is free. He knows that whatever happens, God will overrule it for the good of his chosen. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” Resignation to the divine will has made him feel that whatever the Lord wills is right; he does not seek to have his own will, but he is glad to make God’s will his will, and so he is perfectly satisfied with all that comes. God save you, my brethren and sisters in Christ, from all fear of a slavish sort!
Above all, no Christian ought to have any fear which would bring dishonor upon the truthfulness, the goodness, the immutability, or the power of God. To doubt his promise,—to suppose that he will not make it good,—this is indeed a fear which hath torment. To doubt God’s faithfulness,—to suppose that he can ever forget his children, that his mercy can be withdrawn from them, or that he will be favorable to them no more,—this also is wrong.
To doubt the perseverance of the saints when God’s Word has so plainly declared that he will keep their foes, and will perfect the work which he hath begun in them,—indeed, to doubt anything that has the inspired Scriptures to support it, and to tremble in any way when your trembling arises out of a suspicion that God may change or cease to be faithful to his promises, and faithful to his Son, all that kind of fearing is to be cast far from us.
But, dear friends, there is another fear that ought to be cultivated,—the reverential fear which the holy angels, feel when they worship God, and behold his glory;—that gracious fear which makes them veil their faces with their wings as they adore the Majesty on high. There is also the loving fear which every true, right-hearted child has towards its father,-a fear of grieving so tender a parent,—a proper feeling of dread which makes it watch its every footstep, lest, in the slightest degree, it should deviate from the path of absolute obedience.
May God graciously grant to us much of this kind of fear!