Even the most committed believer has those moments when fear or worry can kick in.

Anxiety can overtake us. Maybe we’re concerned about our future, feel discouraged about some of our failures and shortcomings, or find ourselves anxious about the lives of our family members.

Far too often, though, we are afraid of the wrong things in life, and not afraid of the right things . . . or the right One. Many people don’t fear God, giving Him the awe and the reverence that is His due. Yet the Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the very beginning of wisdom.

What is the “fear of the Lord”? The Bible says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” Psalm 111:10 (NKJV).

To fear God doesn't mean that we are cowering in terror before Him. Rather, the fear of God has been properly defined as a wholesome dread of displeasing Him. If I have sinned, my fear should not be based on the anticipation of what God will do to me, but on what I have done to displease Him. I love Him so much that I would never want to grieve His heart by turning my back on Him or going my own way. That is what it means to fear the Lord.

David wrote, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (Psalm 19:9 NKJV). It is good for us to fear Him. The remarkable thing is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else. On the other hand, if you don’t fear God, then you fear everything else, and you find yourself running from shadows.

In another psalm, David stated, “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NKJV). Only the person who can say, “The Lord is the strength of my life,” can then say, “Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Maybe you feel that your life has been a failure, or perhaps find yourself discouraged, depressed, or afraid of something. If you’re gripped by fear and worry today, then let the Lord be the strength of your life. Trade in all your lesser and destructive fears for the fear that will bring wisdom and peace.