The Only Cure For Fear is Fear
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives - John 14:25-27
We live in a time defined by perpetual fear. A poll in 2016 found that most western people were more afraid than at any time polled before–and that was before COVID-19. Even if the disciples did not fully understand it, they felt his departure was not a good thing. Nevertheless, Jesus assures them they had nothing to fear.
Fearing God: The idea that "fearing God is the beginning of wisdom"
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom” This seems counter-intuitive that fear helps drive out fear? It seems to make no sense. However, we must understand this or else the fears of this world will seem too big to manage, making our problems too big and our God too small.
This belief of 'fearing God' comes from the idea that God is the ultimate source of all knowledge, truth, and goodness, and that acknowledging God's power, majesty, and authority is the first step towards gaining wisdom. Fear in this context does not mean being afraid of God, but rather having a deep respect and reverence for God and recognizing that we are dependent on God's mercy and grace.
Fearing God is seen as the starting point of wisdom because it helps us to understand our own limitations, to see the world in a different way, and to live in a way that is aligned with God's will. By fearing God, we can gain a deeper understanding of the world and our place in it, and that this understanding can guide us towards a wise and virtuous life.
It's worth noting that different religious traditions may interpret and apply the concept of fearing God differently, but the true God and the truth behind this idea as a Christian, is that God is merciful, loving and good. This would not help if he were not sovereign and in full control of all things and that nothing catches God by surprise.
If God is in control, and the source of awe, knowledge and wisdom, and that we see in our scripture that he has given us his Spirit, we have nothing to fear. The Greek word translated as “Helper” in verse 26 is a versatile word. It can also be translated as “Advocate” or “Comforter.” The multifaceted meaning points to the complexity and joy of the Holy Spirit. He will help us in our time of need. The Spirit will advocate for us before God. And the Spirit will comfort us when we are alone. As Jesus puts it, “I will not leave you as orphans” (v. 18). We do not have to be afraid, because we are never alone and we never face anything alone.
The expression “let heart be troubled” has a lot of force behind it in the Greek. The word for troubled can mean restless, dread, doubt, distress, and agitate. There are many events in our life which may cause us distress, or dread, events that keep you awake at night because you are restless with worry. But Jesus says in the face of any of those things, not to let our hearts be troubled. The reason is because in the presence of God, there is peace. We have nothing to be afraid of because we are never alone.
One way to learn how to grow your awareness of God’s presence is to start a prayer journal. Every day, write down what you are praying for and any answered prayer, as well as any moments when you felt God’s presence. As time goes by, it will teach you to be on the lookout for God. Once you start practicing his presence in prayer, you will start growing in your awareness of the Holy Spirit with you at all times.
Application Point: Because God is with you, you don’t have to fear your future.