Are you at peace when your life is in danger? If someone is chasing you for the purpose of harming you, are you at rest? Does fear cause peace? Certainly this kind of fear does not. Proper fear and comfort is needed.
Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. Acts 9:31
The church was experiencing a time of rest because persecution had not been as intense. For many reasons since Stephen’s death and Saul’s conversion, there was less activity against the believers than previously. And so, the church was at peace. You too will have trials and troubled times, but there also will be times of rest.
When times are peaceful, it is not a time for inactivity, it is a time to prepare. Why? Because living in this world will bring more struggles in the future. You will need preparation. Notice the Scripture states, “And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” While they were at rest they walked in the fear of the Lord.
First, what is the fear of the Lord? It means to have a worshipful and reverent awe of God. This fear does not move you to run from God because you are afraid, it moves you to run toward God because of your respect and desire to be under His protection. Just as a fear of justice keeps you on the right side of the law, a healthy fear of the Lord keeps you stable, consistent, and firm.
Christ’s Spirit produces in us a worshipful and reverent awe of God the Father. This fear moves us to walk deeper into His Ways. As your relationship with Christ increases, your awe of God increases. As you spend more time in Christ—The Word, you learn to walk in the fear of the Lord. This deeper walk prepares you for the next challenge in life. Your faith will be evident in your conversations. If you have the fear of the Lord, others will notice it by your constant desire to talk about godly things.
But you must also walk in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The comfort is our peace and joy in believing Christ whom we follow. Not only did they have a faithful walk, they had a joyous walk with God. When you live with the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it will be recognized by your joyful and cheerful spirit. Do you think others see Christ in you when you are discouraged and doubtful? No!
When you walk in the fear of the Lord, then you walk in the comfort of the Spirit. This comfort is always available—during times of rest and peace, or times of trouble and challenges.
Self will defeat your Christian walk by focusing on the need for a life void of troubles. When trouble comes, self collapses. But when you walk in the fear of the Lord, comfort is available in your troubles. Christ Himself will walk you through personal struggles, if you fear Him, and run to His arms for comfort.
© Copyright 2019, Think LifeChange Institute of Biblical Counseling, All Rights Reserved. Kerry L. Skinner and Alison Veazey