(Part 3 of 5 in a series exploring the depth of God’s great love for us)
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” — I John 4:18
What do you fear?
Whether it’s death, pain, loss, loneliness, shame or anything else, fear is not from God.
Jesus described Satan when He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a, ESV).
What have you allowed him to steal from you? Your peace? Your confidence? The assurance that God loves you?
Yes, the enemy is active on this earth. But so is God. After describing Satan’s plan of attack, Jesus spoke of His own plans: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10b, ESV).”
If you’ve ever allowed dread and anxiety to invade your thoughts, you know living in fear is the opposite of living abundantly.
God knew we would struggle with fear.
From Genesis to John, the words, “Do not be afraid” appear again and again, often coming straight from the mouth of Jesus.
Jesus knew we’d encounter fear—not just a healthy fear of God, but distracting, stifling, crippling fear. He wants to help us conquer it, because it’s not from Him.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (ESV).”
Jesus loves us unlike anyone else—with a perfect love. A fearless love. If we focus on Him when we’re afraid, we can be fearless, too.
Fear has to do with punishment, and Jesus put an end to the worst punishment of all when He died on the cross. If we confess our sins and commit our lives to Him, our souls will never die. We’ll never face the punishment our sins deserve.
When we’re no longer afraid of death, other fears are put into perspective. But how can we tackle fear of failure, rejection and so much more? King David figured it out.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 43:4, ESV).”
Don’t keep your secret fears welled up inside. Seek the Lord. Tell Him your fear. Ask for His help, and have faith that He’ll come through.
When you look to our great, big God, everything else gets smaller. And remember that nothing—not life, death or “anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39, ESV).”
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