• Michael Haldas

Fear of God

"“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-62)… Peter is so overcome with fear that neither Christ's prediction (Luke 22:34) nor the crowing of the rooster calls him to repentance, but only the Lord's gaze causes him to weep bitterly.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 22:61-62)

“If we focus on the strength of wickedness, we will be overcome with fear. If we focus on ourselves, we will become absorbed in our difficulties or exalt ourselves in our victories. Only when we focus on God can we achieve balance and health.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 141:8)

“God forgives from beyond the infinite expanse of creation, far past the capacity of our minds to measure in light years. God has “made His mercy to prevail over them that fear Him” (Psalms 102:10 LXX, Psalms 103:10). This is incredible! And God initiates it. Neither our sadness nor our repentance inspires Him to act. These are only our finite responses. Fear may well up in our mind when it is moved by terror, but true fear rests in the heart as adoration. Such is God’s gift for “them that fear Him.” We neither earned nor expected such unlimited love!” (Dynamis 3/5/2019)

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Luke 12:4-5)…We fear other people and situations above God due to our damaged will. Christ tells us in this passage to fear God above all else, re-emphasizing the theme in Scripture to fear the Lord. This is not fear as in dread but fear as in awe. It is the beginning of wisdom because it is wisdom to put the Lord first in our lives. We overcome our worldly fear that breeds anxiety with Godly fear that brings peace.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“… God always gives us light for our path - but only enough for us to take the next step. When we look towards the future, do we see the light shining on our next step? Or do we only see that all the steps beyond the next are still dark? Do we see the light, or do we worry about what will happen to us in the dark?...anxiety…is rooted in fear, fear of what might happen to us. And worrying about ourselves always drives us away from God. When we are anxious about our future, about what will happen a month from now, or a year, or a decade, we are living as if we don’t believe in God. We are not trusting that He will be there for us. We are saying, “Even if there’s light shining on the next step I must take, I don’t trust You. I don’t trust that after I take that next step, You will shine your light on the step I must take after that.” (Douglas Cramer)

"The non-holy and non-righteous kind of fear usually involves: 1. Fear of people and their opinions, and/or 2. Fear of economic insecurity. If I pay attention, I find that most “sins,” most misdirections of my will, are somehow connected to these fears and related ones, like fear of rejection, failure, or even of success. So my cross-carrying journey to “holiness” and “righteousness,” –that is to say, my “salvation,” consists largely of letting go of these bad kinds of fear, and replacing them with faith." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“Christ tells us “do not fear’ or ‘fear not’ multiple times in the Gospels. This is because He knows our sinful reaction to God is bad fear, meaning fear that causes us to hide and run away from God like Adam did when he sinned in the garden. Christ, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), restores us to our intended state and that state is to no longer fear God with an unhealthy fear that repels, but to fear God with a healthy fear that causes awe and reverence that leads us to draw closer to God and to love Him.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“For the righteous, the fear of God is a response of awe, wonder, adoration, and worship. For the wicked, the fear of God is terror, for there is no escape from Him.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 76:7)

“The fear of God makes a person wise. What is the fear of God? Not that one should be afraid of God, but to be afraid to sadden someone, to harm someone, to do them no wrong, and to not make accusations. This is wisdom. After all this, God will illumine you as to what to do in your life.” (St. Sophia of Kleisoura)

“The fear of God illumines the soul, annihilates evil, weakens the passions, drives darkness from the soul and makes it pure. The fear of God is the summit of wisdom. Where it is not you will find nothing good. Whoever does not have the fear of God is open to diabolical falls.” (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

“Many people today treat religious ideas and speech with flippancy and irreverence. Others assume that religion is merely an ideology that supports the social order. Few stand before the Lord in awe, dread, and fear.” (Dynamis 4/24/2015)

“It is no coincidence that the fear of God largely disappeared from our culture at about the same time that relativism and subjective believing became prevalent.” (Josh McDowell)

"There will always be those among us who fail to grasp the faith – or, more precisely, who are not grasped by the faith. For them, the mystery remains obscure or meaningless. Sadly, their number includes people who attend church regularly and yet live like men did before Christ came into the world. Some will"enter this holy house with faith, reverence, and fear of God,” and some will not.” (Dynamis 7/14/2014)

"There are people who think Christianity is all about living in fear, but on the contrary, Christians are called to live a fearless life. There is one exception: Christians fear God...But the fear of God is not a paralyzing or timid fear. On the contrary, fear of God pushes us to do good, to repent and become more like Christ…Fear of God is the result of faith in God.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou, St. Maximos the Confessor)

"Always have the fear of God in your heart, and remember that God is always with you, everywhere, whether you are walking or sitting…fear of God can to lead to a fearless life… Whoever fears God stands above all manner of fear.” (St. Gennadius of Constantinople, Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 112:7, St. Ephraim the Syrian)

#JoshMcDowell #StMaximustheConfessor #StGennadiusofConstantinople #SrDrVassaLarin #SacramentalLivingBlog #FoundationStudyBible #StSophiaofKleisoura #Dynamis #StEphraimtheSyrian #OrthodoxStudyBible #DouglasCramer