English Standard Version (ESV)
Waiting for a big reveal is an interesting place -- you're both eager for the result to arrive, but the uncertainty can be tough on the nerves. Whether you're waiting for something with hope, like the birth of a child, or with fear, like the results of a medical test, you know your life will be changed, only you're not in control of how it changes.
In the same manner, when we hope for God's return, we do so with fear and trembling, mixed with hope. We have fear because we know the depths of our sinful hearts, we know how we have betrayed our faith, how we have settled for lesser pleasures and denied the Lordship of Christ in areas of our lives. We have preferred the ease of self-worship over the challenge of faithfulness.
And yet there is tremendous hope as well. The God who comes as Judge is the same God who comes as Savior. So he comes with a fire to devour sin and evil, and yet that same strong hand reaches down to save. We are not lost, and we meet him joyfully, confidant that his promises to us will be fulfilled, because God is a promise-keeper.
So we live between fear and hope. When we look at ourselves, we often see fear. When we fix our eyes upon the cross, and the love that held Christ there, and then look beyond to the endless grace and beauty of God, we lose track of fear and dwell in hope.