Followers of the Lord have often wrestled with the relationship between fear and faith. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10), yet the presence of the Lord is the reason we need not be afraid (Ps. 23:4). A healthy fear of our awesome God is a crucial part of directing our lives—while fear of anything else can prevent us from experiencing the life God has planned for us.
Faith does not replace fear; it puts fear in its proper place. No one goes through life without experiencing fear, but people who fear God (and trust in Him) handle the threats and challenges of life much differently than those crippled by fear or filled with false confidence. And the Bible is filled with illustrations of the best and the worst ways to handle fear.
To begin another year of studying together in Today in the Word, we’ll work on developing a biblical understanding of fear. We will see how a deep and abiding reverence for the Lord can orient our hearts in the right direction. Scripture will also show us how the fear of the Lord can give us courage to face any obstacle or to pursue any goal within His will.
As a new year dawns, it brings with it new fears and challenges. Thank you for using Today in the Word to help prepare you to fear the Lord, and trust in Him to comfort you and carry you through whatever 2012 holds. And thank you also for your financial support to provide this same comfort to thousands of other readers!