Proverbs 1:33

Free from Fear

Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33

To live in safety, without fear of harm. Does that seem impossible? Sometimes it seems impossible to me. I battle some kind of fear almost every day, whether I’m driving on a crowded highway or confronting a work-related difficulty.

The dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotional state characterized by anticipation of pain or great distress,” but it’s also “the habit of feeling agitation or dismay either natural and well-grounded or unreasoned and blind.”[1] That covers just about everything—the anticipation of pain at the dentist’s office, the distress of a car accident, a natural response to a burglar in the house, and the unforeseen challenges at a new job. And the Hebrew word translated harm carries the same broad meaning—any “distress, misery, injury or calamity.”[2]

But the Bible tells us that living in fear is the opposite of living by faith. Remember what Jesus asked the disciples: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). And, as Solomon implies in Proverbs 1:33, the key to living in safety is listening to the voice of God, not the voice of fear.

God doesn’t promise that we’ll avoid all harm, but He does promise we can live without fear of harm. How? Consider these truths:

He’ll never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
He’ll make a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
He’ll use all things for our eternal good (Romans 8:28-29).
He’ll complete the good work He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).
He’ll provide the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:6).
Our Savior daily intercedes for us, or as The Message says, Jesus is “always on the job to speak up” for us  (Hebrews 7:25).

Fear of harm is natural. Living without fear of harm is supernatural. Freedom from fear is provided by the Holy Spirit who lives within us, our Savior who intercedes for us, and our Father who won’t allow anyone to snatch us out of His hand (John 10:29).

Got fear? Grab a promise. To live without fear we must live within the safety of God’s promises.

DIG DEEPER:

Read Psalm 3 and 4. What truths about God enabled David to “lie down and sleep” without fear of harm (3:5; 4:8)? What truths about God help you sleep in peace?

Read the gospel accounts of the stormy sea in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:36-41, and Luke 8:22-25. Why do you think Jesus questioned the disciples’ faith? What do you think He’d say about your faith?

Think of Daniel in the lions’ den and his three friends in the fiery furnace. What enabled them to be at ease in a life-threatening situation? See Daniel 6:19-23 and Daniel 3:26-28?

Denise K. Loock

[1] Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, s.v. “fear,” accessed January 14, 2015, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com.

[2] “Hebrew Lexicon :: H7451 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 11 Jan, 2015. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7451&t=KJV

 

 

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