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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Understand Extended Meanings
By gene hudgens


Hundreds of times in Scripture there is admonition not to fear or be afraid, therefore fear must be a common problem for all people on earth. Fear has existed from the beginning of time and touches everyone everywhere.
It is also clear from Scripture that God doesn’t want His Creation afflicted with fearfulness. God encourages us to see a fearful situation through the eyes of faith. God preaches faith and not fear.
With faith we can believe that God is superior in power and number and thus we can reason that we need not fear. With faith God opens our eyes to see life from a divine position with a righteous attitude and perspective.
Fear is a tool of the devil and it causes mental anguish, distress, disease and physical suffering, as we buckle under, because of anxieties, worry, cares, dread, and uneasiness. When fear grasps us we will not think rationally or clearly.
By human nature humans will normally either respond by standing and fighting or by tucking their tail between their legs and running away. Too many people spend their entire life running away because they listen to the devil’s evil plan of false reasoning and confusion. Running away is not what God wants; God wants us to get close to Him, talk with Him, and ask Him to help us identify why we are fearful.
Faith and fear run in opposite directions and the devil is a genius when offering us ‘quick comfort’ temptations, in our mixed up minds, to deal with our fear and panic. Christians are never exempt from the devil’s temptations and must always be alert to practice what we preach; pray, embrace God, and ask Him to guide us.
Everyone, Christians and non-believers, will encounter many types of fear many times in our lives. At some time in our lives we will likely, to some degree, experience fear of success, failure, death, sickness, rejection, competition and what ever.
Regardless of the intent, the many translations of the Bible have left many believers and readers confused and fearful. It seems that in recent years there is a positive desire to show that understanding the “extended meanings” of the original Hebrew words often can correct our misunderstandings of the Bible and reduce contradictions and confusion.
We must understand the broader sense of the word “fear”. It is a source of doubt, worry, and uncertainty to many readers that so often read the common expression, “Fear of God”. The assumption that we should “fear our Lord” is negative, but appears hundreds of time in the Old Testament. Even in the New Testament we often find “fear of God”.
Many Hebrew words have a much broader sense of meaning than we have in English. In English the word ‘fear’ is always negative. In Hebrew ‘fear’ can be positive like reverence or negative like terror.
The words ‘reverence’ and ‘revere’ come from the Hebrew word ‘yarah’, which literally means ‘to fear’. Christians are often taught that “the fear of the Lord” is the fear of punishment that God can enact for our actions. After death each of us must stand in judgment for the actions in our life. For Christians who believe that Jesus died for us and that our sins have been forgiven… should not have this fear of God.
The “extended meaning” of the word ‘fear’ is the belief that fear and reverence for God motivates us to do His will each day. We must constantly be aware of the presence of God in our daily lives. When we believe that God knows all of our actions and thoughts, then we must certainly be aware of the constant presence of God…and do what pleases Him.
Each of us must “fear”, but our fear should be to prevent us from doing things that upset God, not fearing His punishment. When we believe this, the essence of our life is “faith”.
Never forget for one moment that “God is watching our every action and thought”.
Being “fearful” of God’s presence in our daily lives will transform us into the person God wants us to be.

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Member Comments
Member Date
christine bastow09/01/07
It is surprising how many Christians are living fearfully when they could be victorious by turning fear into faith. thanks for sharing. chris x

Janice Cartwright09/01/07
With word restraints it is difficult to write a comprehensive essay on such a broad topic. You did a good job covering the high points though and I commend you for tackling the many aspects of fearfulness.
Rhonda Clark09/02/07
You did a great job in your explanation.
Phyllis Inniss09/03/07
You did a great job explaining the 'fear' of God in the BIble and faith in Him who assures us at different times not to be afraid.