May 6: “The Fear of the Lord is a Pathway to Joy”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ruth 2:1–4:22
John 4:43-54
Psalm 105:16-36
Proverbs 14:26-27

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 14:26-27 (NLT): “Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In our encounter with God’s Word this morning, we see a phrase that is often misunderstood. Some people find it utterly distasteful. It’s the phrase: “fear of the Lord.”

Proverbs 14:26-27 (NLT): “Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.”

When we rightly understand what “the fear of the Lord” is, we realize that God is calling us to satisfy our desire for joy. Yes, you understood that correctly – fear is a pathway to happiness.

Let me illustrate…

In July 2017, our family took an enjoyable vacation out west. Kim, and our three sons, and I went with a group from our church to Denver, Colorado, to help a church planter. 

After a week of service, we headed further west, over the Rocky Mountains. After staying at a desolate town in southeast Utah and visiting Arches National Park, we turned south to spend some time at the Grand Canyon.

What makes the Grand Canyon, a massive hole, so special? Is it the colors? Is it the enormity of the canyon?

The answer to those questions is “yes” – but it’s so much more! I found that one of the things that made the Grand Canyon so spectacular was the fear.

You see, people typically don’t like to view the Grand Canyon from the parking lot. They like to step up to the railing. As they look over the railing, they see that they are standing on the edge of a cliff. That metal barrier is the only thing protecting them from falling hundreds of feet to their death. Their heart is racing, they are captivated by the beauty, they are afraid … and they love it! That’s part of the experience!

Don’t believe me? Just click the “play” button on the video below that I took while on our family trip. As you watch the minute and a half video, observe how fear can be intertwined with awe and happiness. Then, finish reading my comments below the video as I conclude this article.

That’s how God wants us to enjoy Him. He wants us to come to a clearer understanding of His infinite power, His righteous justice, His infinite grace, His faithful love, and so much more. In light of our growing understanding of a God who isn’t to be trifled with, He wants us to stand in awe of Him and enjoy Him. 

So, friend, “the fear of the Lord” should never cause us to get a bitter taste in our mouth. It is a call to enjoy our God. Why not ask Him to help you develop a little bit more “fear of the Lord” today?

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida ( His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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