It is in the book of Proverbs that we learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Only when we have a proper respect and fear of God will we understand things as we ought to in life. It is a lack of fearing God that leads to sin and to ungodly behavior and choices. Thus it should be no shock to us that the fear of the Lord brings us a strong confidence in how we live, what we say, and in how we look to the future. The fool has no such confidence in life. Their brief forays into confidence are mere moments of braggadoccio that fade into insignificance when suffering and death make their appearance.
Confidence comes to the man or woman of God because they fear the Lord. They truly know the end of the story - which is that man will stand in the judgment before a holy God. That seems a little odd at first because we read in the book of Hebrews that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. But for the one who fears the Lord, that day will not involve falling into the hands of a yet angry and wrathful God. Wisdom has told him to run to God's provision of forgiveness and grace which is in Jesus Christ. When we do this we know that the wrath of God fell upon His own Son, so that we might be forgiven and granted great grace by our loving Father.
When we choose to fear God now - we will not have to cower in terror later. We fear God now - looking in absolute terror at the cross and what God truly requires in His holiness to pay for the debt of sin. It is in seeing what had to be done to Christ Jesus to pay for sin that we cringe in horror at what our wickedness truly costs. But when we embrace Jesus Christ, receiving the gift of repentance and faith, our sins are gone. Thus there is no longer the "terror of the Lord" at the thought of judgment, but rather a strong confidence that our anchor will hold. Jesus Christ has paid all that there is to pay - and we are forgiven and free.
The second part of this proverb is vital for us to see as well. We are told that the children of the man who fears the Lord will have a a refuge. This points to the fact that if a man truly knows the Lord, his greatest desire is for his children to know his Savior as well. The refuge that his children have is first seen in how he rears them and teaches them the Scriptures. What a wonderful refuge is provided by a set of godly parents to their children as they grow up in the Lord. The parents may not be perfect, but they provide an example of two who walk with the Lord - and who look to Him for their hope and their salvation. They also do their very best to teach their children the things of the Lord and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They pray for their children and do all that they can to see that they follow them in their pursuit of Jesus Christ in life.
God desires for men to be saved. That is a given when you read the Scriptures. But there is more. He also desires that there be many godly generations descending from a family who have come to Christ. This is the legacy that comes to children and grandchildren - and even great grandchildren of those whose parents fear the Lord. Oh that we would see this and live in the fear of God. Oh that we would provide a lasting refuge - a lasting legacy of godliness and gospel-led lives to our children - and even to many generations of our families.