When I was teen, I went through a dark season of depression and despair. Everything in my life felt hopeless. The future was dark and bleak. I felt like I was at the bottom of a pit and no amount of clawing at the walls would pull me out of it. I struggled to get through each day–to put one foot in the front of the other.
At the time, I worked at my local library–one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had! I often re-shelved books after they were returned by library patrons. As I placed the books back snugly in their home beside the other books on the shelves, I often flipped through them to see if they interested me. Over time, I found myself taking home books from the religion section, books written by Graham, Lewis, Sproul, even Joni Earekson Tada. I started writing down quotes from these books and posting them on the wall of my bedroom. Any Bible passages they quoted I memorized and tacked to my wall as well. These morsels of truth fed my hurting heart. I clung to those words which pointed me to the One who saved me. I put my hope in these promises, that while the sky was black as night above me, the light would one day return and penetrate the darkness.
And it did.
Do you have a favorite promise of God? Perhaps there is a passage you turn to time and time again to remind you that God is with you in your sufferings and trials. Or you rest in the truth that your salvation is secure, even though the devil tries to tell you otherwise. Or when the pains of life are unrelenting, you look forward to the promise of everlasting joy in eternity. There are numerous promises laced throughout Scripture, each of which are rooted in the meta-promise that God will be our God and we will be his people.
As I read and researched for A Holy Fear, I marveled at the numerous promises God makes to those who fear him. Even more, when I contrasted these promises to those of our lesser fears. For what does future fear promise but loss and sorrow? What does the fear of man promise but more rejection and heartbreak? Can the fear of harm promise rescue or deliverance?
All our lesser fears can promise is only more fear to come.
But for those who fear the Lord in the face of lesser fear–those who turn to the Lord in awe, wonder, worship, adoration, trust, and worship–are promised more than we can even imagine. Promises such as:
- Deliverance (Psalm 33:16-19)
- Satisfaction/Contentment in God (Proverbs 19:23)
- Friendship with God (Psalm 25:14)
- God’s Delight and Pleasure (Psalm 147:10—11)
- God will teach us (Psalm 25:12)
- Good for us (Psalm 34:8—10)
- Everlasting mercy (Psalm 103:17)
And there are many more found throughout the pages of God’s word! Each of these promises are rooted in the person and character of God, for whatever God says always comes to pass. God’s word does all that he wills it to; it never returns void: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). We can trust God’s promises for us because he is faithful. He is our promise keeping God.
Dear friend, if your fears overshadow you today, if they whisper promise of more fear around every corner, turn to the Lord. Come to the throne of grace and bring your fears before him. See him in all his glory and wonder and find him as greater. Fall before him in reverence and worship. Relish his goodness and faithfulness toward you. Mediate on and savor the joy of his promises for you. Hang it around your neck like a necklace, identifying you as his own.
As John Bunyan wrote:
Child of God, thou that fearest God, here is mercy nigh thee, mercy enough, everlasting mercy upon thee. This is long-lived mercy. It will live longer than thy sin, it will live longer than temptation, it will live longer than thy sorrows, it will live longer than thy persecutors. It is mercy from everlasting to contrive thy salvation, and mercy to everlasting to weather it out with all thy adversaries. Now what can hell and death do to him that hath this mercy of God upon him? And this hath the man that feareth the Lord. Take that other blessed word, and O thou man that fearest the Lord, hang it like a chain of gold about thy neck–”As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psa 103:11). If mercy as big, as high, and as good as heaven itself will be a privilege, the man that feareth God shall have a privilege.
A Treatise on the Fear of the Lord, p.85
Do you know God’s promises for those who fear him?
Originally posted here.