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How can we move from fear to faith?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Season 4, episode 84
45 min / Published

Episode 84 - We are resuming our journeyr through the Book of Proverbs after our amazing guest interview with Jill Briscoe in our previous episode. Today, Stephanie takes us deep into the topics of fear, insecurities and anxiety in order to ponder the Christ-centered alternative: faith and trust.

Many proverbs are centered on the concept of fear--both as something to avoid when it is the fear of man, and as something to nurture when it is the fear of God. What do these proverbs mean, and what can they teach us today?

As has now become our habit, we start off by meeting a fictional character who embodies the traits we will be pondering today. Her name is Jessica, and she tries hard to please everyone! Stephanie takes us to a profound quote by Thomas Chalmers about the "expulsion power of a new affection" as the underlying secret to replace fear by faith. We examine fear to conclude that it is always a secondary motivation in the transformation process, and that growing in faith makes for a much more powerful vector of transformation.

Faith predates the fall in the garden, but fear follows it. Therefore, in Christ we are given the opportunity to return to our deepest roots, restoring the harmony of our intimacy with the Father in the garden, and even more. Because of the transformative power of faith in Christ, we can become salt and light--this is actually the context of Jesus' famous teaching about our identity as salt of the earth and light of the world!

We ponder that genuine faith and trust in God are only possible when we rejoice and delight in God first, and foremost, and, actually, all in all. Faith is grounded in who God is; fear is grounded in who we are in our own eyes, or in the eyes of the world.

We examine this powerful thought by Saint Augustine, that challenges us to give up the "fruitless joys we are afraid to lose" in order to "embrace the joy-filled fruit we cannot lose." We do this, by looking at Peter's faith when he dared to step out of the boat. Will we dare to step out of our own boats in faith, keeping our eyes on the One who holds our hand?

This event in Peter's life teaches us that, if we have faith in mankind, we will have the fear of man; but if we have faith in God, then we will cultivate the only healthy fear: the fear of God, which is the "beginning of wisdom" and the "beginning of knowledge" as Proverbs teach us.

So, what is the fear of God? How can it be good, since we've expounded on fear being bad, so far? It requires a look at who God is. His preeminence in presence, power, goodness, justice, love, patience and kindness set Him so very much apart, that He is a category all His own. To be "set apart" literally is the root of the word "holy." The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge because God is a category all His own, and we cannot fear Him as we fear man. It's not the same fear because it's not the same category.

The fear of God is wise because it is awe and reverence and worship and adoration--not cowering in fear of getting hurt by a vengeful tyrant. God's identity makes Him trustworthy and, therefore, make His guidance much sought after.

We end with yet another favorite quote of Stephanie's, "complaint supposes ill-usage." If we complain that God has not come through for us (as we all are prone to do!) we basically state that God is out to get us, or that He does not have our best interest at heart; that He behaves towards us with ill-will. When we take time to think this through, we realize it is not consistent with who we know God to be. In other words, complaining against God is always rooted in a faulty understanding of His grace and heart on our behalf. It means we can correct our faulty view, and therefore grow in joy and contentment! What a delightful prospect.

Such promises are NOT for the fearless, perfect version of you, some time in the future. They are for you TODAY, as you are, imperfections and all. And that is the best news we can hear all day!

If it is true that we become what we behold, then behold Christ. Anything lower is beneath you as a royal priesthood, adopted child of God.



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Show notes

You can print the attached downloadable PDF to enjoy your listening guide, or you can follow with this:



Fear: numb, or expulse.                                                                    (Proverbs 31:6-7, 25)


“The ___________ power of a new affection.” (Thomas Chalmer)



Fear is always a secondary ______________ in the ______________ process.





Taste and see…                                                                      (Matthew 5:13-15, 1 Peter 2:3)                                          







Wisdom is ________________________.

Faith is grounded in __________ and in _______________ both.



The boldness of faith                                                        



Saint Augustine: ______________ joys or ___________ fruit?




God’s trustworthiness                                                     (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23)



Faith is __________  ___________ fear.




If you have _________ in man, you will have ___________ of man.

If you have _________ in God, you will have ___________ of God.








“A complaint supposes __________.” (William Law)









Answer key: expulsion – motivation – transformation - transformative – reason – miracles – fruitless – joy-full – wisely placed – faith / fear – faith / fear – ill-usage.

Gospel Spice Podcast Episode 84 Listening Guide - 3rd session on the Book of Proverbs.pdf

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This episode is part of the Wisdom from Proverbs | Bible Series series
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