All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.
Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there. I don’t know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.
I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn’t know that one of the definitions of “courage” is “the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear.” Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn’t have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.