Our Bible verse for today: “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.” 1 John 4:18 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “What do you fear?”
What are the things in life that you fear the most? Almost all of us worry about what other people think of us (you would be surprised to learn how seldom other people actually do think about you. It’s much less than you suspect). Others worry about their income and financial security for the future. Some parents obsess about the safety and well-being of their children. People worry and are fearful about health issues, the economy, terrorism, the outcome of elections, and so much more. Life is full of issues for us to worry about and to be fearful of. But in 1 John 4:18 the apostle tells us that perfect love drives out fear. What could he mean?
Let’s consider some of the things we’ve learned so far this month. First, we’ve learned that God’s love is perfect, and that He loves us with that perfect love. Beyond that, if we only allow it to be so, our lives can be lived out of the reality of God’s perfect love for us. So following John’s train of thought in 1 John 4:18, this must mean that the perfect love of God in our lives should drive out the fears that we have.
That being the case, we no longer fear what other people think of us because the only thing that really matters is what our heavenly Father thinks of us (we are precious to Him and He loves us unconditionally, beyond measure). We now know that we don’t have to be a success in the world’s eyes as long as we are successful in the things that are important to our Father. We also don’t have to fear health problems, or financial insecurity, or terrorism, or the political situation in our nation, or any other issue, because we know that our God is sovereign (not just over the affairs of the world, but more specifically, over each and every moment of our individual lives). He is large and in-charge. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. Nothing escapes His attention and nothing is out of His control. If you do truly believe that His love for you is perfect, and if you trust Him, then your knowledge of His perfect love should drive away your fears.
Still need more convincing? Tomorrow we will consider some of the many specific promises from God regarding fears we allow to control us, and how it is that His perfect love for us should drive those fears away.