When we were babies, every single one of us possessed two fears: The fear of falling and the fear of loud sudden noises. Did you overcome them? Or do you still have them? In one sense, no, in another sense, yes. None of us would jump off the south rim of the Grand Canyon without a safety net, nor would we enjoy someone pranking us with an unexpected scream unless you paid entrance into a halloween haunted house! This two-fold sense of caution & courage explains to all of us the difference between honorable fear, which is better described as caution, and dishonorable fear, which is better described as cowardice. If I had a phobia of spiders, it would be cowardly to run off and move to the north pole just because spiders can’t live there. But if my fear of spiders was honorable, I’d invest in pesticides, practicing caution to stand my ground. Christians should never run away from a spiritual enemy, but we should use caution and wipe the dust off our feet, moving forward. Standing fast is a command and it takes courage to wipe off our feet in the face of our enemy. Do not let your heart receive what your brain anticipates as fear. We can’t get rid of fear, but we can handle it wisely with the help of our Lord. Every human being is built with a sense of fear which can help us live a long productive life, if we treat our fears with God’s sovereignty in mind & soul.
Biblically there are only two types of fear:
Commanded (Lk. 12:5 & Ac. 9:31) not to be confused with blind enthusiasm.
Forbidden (Lk. 12:32 & Mt. 8:26) not to be confused with caution.
Being brave for Jesus is not for brand new Christians. Courage for a Christian comes with time, maturity & wisdom. The church as a whole in today’s society is probably hurt more by immaturity than we are with complacency. Some preachers may complain about apathy in the church, but that complaint is empty, in view of the lack of spiritual exercise by new Christians. If that is the case for you, then the heart disease of cowardice can set in like a plague and stop you from growing into bravery.
Most people fear failure. In Matthew 25:25 we can see the “one talent man” did nothing because of his fear. Is it right for Christians to be fearful of failure? The Lord Jesus promised Christians inevitable and assured victory over sin and death. The apostle Paul proclaimed to beloved Christians in Corinth that we should be abounding in the work of the Lord, KNOWING our labor is not in vain. 1st Cor. 15:58. Jesus said, “Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.” (Jn. 6:27) Even when Jesus worked as a carpenter it was not in vain. Every effort you put into being a Christian is worth it, because a Christian is in Christ, giving us eternal food! That’s a victory in itself! If a brand new Christian can start being a Christian by being brave in our fight against temptation, then we will grow with Christ’s eternal food in the Word, to be brave in our work for the Lord to spread the gospel. Do you believe this?