Reading through Luke chapter 23 this morning, the words of the criminal crucified beside Christ struck me. He was speaking to the other criminal who hung on the far side of Christ Jesus–the one who’d been hurling insults at Jesus.
“Don’t you fear God?” he said. See Luke 23:40
Though the man hung on a cross next to Jesus, suffering and dying, he believed. He still feared God. Still dared to believe Jesus was the Messiah and there was a kingdom Christ would be ushered into, and there was a point to what was taking place.
I’m reminded of the lines in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She wrote that she’d claimed the “yes” of believing God, but lived the no.
Don’t you fear God?
To fear God is to be reverent of His mighty authority and power. To recognize his infinite might alongside his infinite love.
Sometimes I sense we focus so heavily on the love and forgiveness, we fail the rightful dose of fear. Doesn’t the fear of God go hand and hand in the surrender to God? To whatever he brings?
The first verse of Job tells us he was a man who feared God and shunned evil. And don’t we think of Job as synonymous with suffering?
Yes, Job suffered much loss, much anguish and grief. Yet, the second half of his life was more blessed than the first, than before the suffering. (See Job 42:12 – 17)
Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” see Job 2:10
Lord, it’s hard. It’s scary. I’d rather fear you and have it go well all my days. But I fear you always. I choose to surrender to you in the good and in the trouble.