This line captured my attention yesterday as I watched a TV Show called "Gu Family Book". I've recently discovered and unbelievable adoration for Korean dramas. Weird, right? I may never watch an English speaking show again! (Shout out to subtitles, haha) Can you say new obsession?
Anyways, back to the quote! One of the characters spoke these words to his son in a final farewell. Hours after I'd finished the episode, I found myself continuing to ponder it's meaning and validity. I was enraptured by this idea that the true destroyer of faith... perhaps is not DOUBT, but instead FEAR. I wanted to know, is God more concerned with my doubt or with my fear? Which is truly the executioner of our faith?
Mind you I'm no Bible scholar, but I wanted to investigate and find out if this view is supported in scripture. First, I searched to find out how many times the word "fear" shows up in the Bible. I realized that was a little too broad. Instead, I sought to find out how many times someone (whether it be a Biblical person or the reader) is commanded to "Fear not". How often does God's word seek to remind us not to be afraid? I found an article written by a pastor's wife, where she describes her search for the answer to this same question. According to her, her initial study established the words "Fear Not" are written in the Bible 365 times! Basically, that's a command for everyday of the year. However, her search went deeper. She broke down the times "Fear Not" into times when it's used in faith specific context. She writes, "The phrase in the intended context is only used 80+ times [...] Other word pairings that would be equal to “fear not” (“do not be afraid”, “do not fear”, “be not afraid”) is used 30+ times" (Source). From this study she actually created this printable with all the verses put together. It's really quite awesome.
I was beaming. It seems that I proved this thought to be true. Perhaps, we spend far too much time dwelling on curbing our "doubts" when we should be focused on suppressing our fear. I couldn't tell you which one comes more naturally. And yet, if I think about I... I feel that most doubts are born out of fear. Doubt is born out of a fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of anything that is a risk in our lives. We fear what is difficult and therefore doubt God's ability to overcome challenges. At least, that's how it is for me.
Reflecting on this quote, I want to live with a consciousness that having faith doesn't mean I won't have doubts. Nonetheless, if I want to remain strong in my faith, what I really must fight is the despair and anguish that comes from having a fearful heart. We can overcome our doubts, but fear is a much more dangerous threat to our faith. It strips away all we know to be truth and sets a stone of helplessness in our hearts. I have a mighty and powerful God; therefore, I have no reason to be afraid.
I am amazed that God used this unexpected Korean drama to draw me into His Word with a desire to learn more about Him. Another English writer translated this same Korean quote to read, "The antithesis of trust is not faithlessness, but fear." Though the wording is different, the message is just as powerful. Fear can be deceiving and is used by the enemy to lead us away from God.
DO NOT be afraid. The same God that conquered armies, plagues and giants in the Old Testament—the same God that conquered mortal life and eternal death in the New Testament—is the SAME God that loves you, defends you and walks by your side. Do not be afraid!
are more than those who are with them'."
2 Kings 6:16