Christ has come to take away the source of our fears
Published 8:29 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, fear has gripped societies in every nation on Earth. In trying to encourage my own friends, I’ve said that the greatest pandemic is that of fear and that God can help us overcome fear by fearing Him. Am I wrong? — F.G.
Dear F.G.: Fear can mean to be afraid of something or have a feeling of terror, but there’s also a wonderful definition to this word: “To have reverence or respect” for something or someone. There are different kinds of fear. Not all fear is wrong. It is right for a child to fear a hot stove or a sharp knife, because those things can harm the child. It is right for us also to fear sin and Satan, for they can bring devastation. The Bible certainly does not contradict itself. There can be many different meanings to one word.
The Bible indeed does tell us to fear God. That doesn’t mean that we’re to be in terror or Him, shrinking from Him and even fleeing from Him — although we should fear His judgment — but it does mean we are to have a reverence and respect for Him, knowing that He is holy and all-powerful. He Himself will teach us the truth about all things.
Jesus declared, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Fear is a real thing, but Christ has come to take away the source of our fears and says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)