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Fear of God

  • leads to the continuous awareness of God’s presence
  • involves reverence and awe for God’s transcendence and immanence
  • involves trust in God’s infinite goodness and compassion
  • ignites gratitude, wonder, praise, and adoration
  • experiences fascination with the Ultimate Mystery and its presence
  • experiences God’s loving presence within self and others

As the first of the sevenfold Gifts of the Spirit, the Fear of God is also called reverence for God.

  • FG: 44  

The “fear of God” is a technical term in Scripture that means “cultivate the right relationship with God.” And the right relationship with God is trust. In the psychological climate of our culture, we normally translate “fear” as the emotion of fear, but this is not the proper meaning of the term in Scripture.

Related Concepts




Fear’ in the biblical phrase “fear of God” does not refer to a feeling or an emotion. “Fear” refers to the right relationship with God, which is trust. Trust involves reverence and awe for God’s transcendence, immanence, goodness, compassion, and all the other divine attributes.

Gratitude and trust are the basis of a healthy relationship with God.

We are invited into a mystery that contains everything our hearts could possibly desire. We experience the fascination of the Ultimate Mystery and fear of the unknown at the same time. We want to grasp or to be grasped by the mystery of God’s presence that expands endlessly in every direction. This Gift of Fear inspires continuous awareness of God. When that loving presence is experienced within, we can see it in everyone else, however hidden.


 Reflection: Listening

Fear of God is not the same as feeling anxious or threatened. Awe is a feeling of reverence and wonder.

Reflection: Reflecting

How might you come to perceive God’s immanence and goodness? What is your responsibility for cultivating this relationship?

Reflection: Responding

“We can never have too much trust in God.” (Therese of Lisieux) “Become like little children.” (Jesus)