In the past I've been afraid of God.
I've been afraid to stop and listen to His voice, because I've been afraid I would hear condemnation, pointing out of my faults, a heavy burdensome list of things I must change or do better, disappointment, or irritation. I've been afraid of what He might tell me, and I've thought the Holy Spirit was out to point out my sin and make me feel my guilt. The message I felt I would probably hear from God was something like, "I love you, but I'm so disappointed in you. Why can't you do better? After all, I gave My Son for you. Is this the best you can do for Me?"
And yet - that's all a crazy lie!
God isn't like that at all, and He is showing me that His words to me will always be wonderful and healing words. He is out to bless me! And the Holy Spirit is out to point out what's right with me because of Jesus, not to point out any faults! The fact is, God is delighting in me right now! He is rejoicing over me (Zeph. 3:17). Wow!
God tells me I need NEVER be afraid of His voice or fear anything He might say to me. He always says something good to build us up! He's so in love with us, and the cross took away all our sin anyway, so there's no sin left to see! He sees only beauty and childlikeness when He looks at us!
I think our fears and perceptions can color our "hearing" of Him or the way we hear Him, so that sometimes we PERCEIVE His words as harsh, but His voice is NEVER harsh. It's always loving and kind. He is always out to do us good. He sent Jesus to BLESS us, not to curse and accuse and berate us (Acts 3:26).
We never have to be afraid of anything He says, for His words are always LOVE and GOOD and HEALING. He loves us, and love does NO HARM! And what if we sin, fail, blow it, mess up, and crash? He isn't about pointing out our sins! He doesn't see our sin, He's promised to remember it no more (Jer. 31:34). He doesn't see our sin but instead sees our root need for love, and He meets that need, speaking into our hearts the truth of His love and acceptance and thus healing hurt places where we've believed lies about Him or perceived Him in a mixed-up way.
What is God's word to us? What does He tell us? He tells us, "You are My beloved child, in whom I am well-pleased!"