God Blesses Those Who Fear Him
"Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling." / "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief." (Psalm 2:11 / Proverbs 28:14)
Have you ever heard it said that someone is "a God-fearing man"? What does it mean to be a God-fearing man or woman, or a God-fearing boy or girl? The Bible says, "Happy is the man that feareth alway." How can anyone be both fearful and happy at the same time? Fear doesn't seem to match up with happiness. When you think of being afraid, you might think of walking on a path in the dark, or being lost and separated from your family at a shopping mall, or having a scary dog jump out of some bushes and start barking and chomping his teeth toward you. Those are scary things, and they don't make us feel very happy, do they? So what do these verses mean when they say that the way to be happy is to be fearful? There is only one way that fear can ever go together with happiness, and that's if someone's fear is placed in God.
To fear God means to be in a constant awe and awareness of His presence. It has the idea of being terrified, but not the hopeless terror we sometimes feel when we are scared of monsters or war or pain. It is the idea of being terrified of displeasing a loving and merciful God. It is the idea of being scared of forgetting how good and great God really is. There is no one else like God, and He is a loving Master. So the reverence and respect we give Him ought to come from our hearts. When we serve God with genuine love and gratitude – we honor Him. When we go to Him first with our problems and needs – we honor Him. When we try to please God with our responses to the things He sends our way – we honor Him. We ought to be constantly aware that He is around, that He is watching, and that He knows both our secret thoughts and public actions.
When you are afraid of something, the thought of it never really goes away, does it? If you are afraid of the dark, you might be able to forget that fear during the day, but it comes back when the sun goes down. If you are afraid of meeting a mean bear in the forest, then you probably think about that possibility anytime you come near a pathway in the forest, and you think about it constantly for the whole time you are in that forest. Instead of being continually nagged by a fear of the dark or a fear of wild animals, godly fear is being continually aware that the God of the Bible lives, and that the highest purpose in our living is to give Him honor. It is a way of thinking and living every day, all day, in light of the truth that we see in Scripture – that God exists in all His glory and that we exist to glorify that God. This is the kind of "fear" that the Bible speaks of.
If you are a God-fearing boy or girl, will you keep on sinning and sinning – or will you repent of your sinfulness and try to stay away from sin? If you are a God-fearing boy or girl, will you always try to argue and make your opinions known – or will you change the way you talk and the things you talk about so that they point to God and show love for God's people? If you are a God-fearing boy or girl, will you be constantly afraid and worried about things or people who are less powerful than God – or will you be able to obey God and trust His goodness and greatness to take care of you and your needs?
When you think about it, it's not so strange that a God-fearing person would be happy! A God-fearing person is someone who tries not to sin and confesses his sins before God when he does sin, so he does not have the burden of constant guilt. A God-fearing person does not have his own selfish battles to fight or arguments to win. He just tries to honor God in what he says. A God-fearing person does not have to spend time and energy worrying about the future or trying to please people. He just trusts and obeys. How much better is it to live in the blessings of God rather than trying to add up your own blessings! No guilt...no selfish plans to carry out...and no worries that you can't roll over onto God! No wonder a God-fearing person can be happy! God is the One Who blesses that person.
Happiness is a natural result of fearing the God of the Bible.
» Do I live every day remembering that God exists, and that I exist for Him?
» What are some ways that I do NOT usually show fear of God in my life?
» How can I show others that I believe God is the One Who can make me most happy in life?
» How can I show others that I am trusting and obeying the God of the Bible?
Truth In Real Life
G Campbell Morgan
“Everything a sinning man needs he finds at the Cross.”
George Campbell Morgan was born in England on December 9, 1863. Even as a child, he admired his father who was a Baptist preacher. Morgan once wrote that he had no choice but to get saved because of his father’s wonderful Christian testimony.
As a child, Morgan was often sick and unable to go to school. He was tutored at home and was taught to love learning and to study hard. This love of learning would grow with him throughout his life.
When he was 10, Morgan got to hear Dwight L. Moody preach. He was so impressed by what he saw and heard that he started preaching, as well. So, he became a preacher at the age of 13. By age 15, he was traveling and preaching as often as he was able.
Then something very dangerous and difficult happened that would change the course of Morgan’s life.
When G. Campbell Morgan was 19 years old, he began reading as much as he could about God and religion. Some of it was good, but much of it was wrong. A lot of it was human discussion about God and His Word, rather than God’s own teaching about Himself. Very soon, Morgan got all caught up in wrong thinking about God and the Bible. He became very interested in philosophy – or the pursuit of knowledge – and unfortunately, he became even more interested than he was in the things God had written about Himself in His Word. For the next two years, Morgan refused even to read his Bible!
Finally, at age 21, God got a hold of his heart and Morgan realized he had had enough of man-made philosophy. Instead, he returned to God’s Word and to trusting Christ. He spent the rest of his life preaching that God knows much more than human beings know. He wrote 60 books and 11 pamphlets. Eventually, Dwight L. Moody ended up relying on Morgan to help him in his ministry. In serving God, Morgan had the opportunity to help the man who was so used by God in his own early life as a believer.
Have you ever been tempted to trust human opinions and conclusions more than you trust God’s own Word? It is possible to be smart about the world and ignorant about God.
1 Corinthians 1:27 – But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.