If we were to be honest, I think all of us have dealt with the emotion of fear. It may range from all out panic to a general feeling of uneasiness. As I was thinking about the comfort of Jesus’ love, a Bible verse came to mind, and it seemed like the perfect antidote. John tells us, “perfect love casts out fear.” How can love cast out fear, and what is perfect love?
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
The love the Apostle John is describing here comes from the Greek word “agape.” It describes God’s love for us -His immeasurable and precious love.
The love He has for His children comes freely and without hesitation or reservation. This kind of love is the heart and character of God, which helps me understand the concept of His perfect love.
In this particular verse, John refers to the fear that is associated with the day of judgment. We will stand before Jesus Christ and face accountability for our actions.
When you think of standing before God in judgement, what comes to your mind?
If we didn’t know Jesus, then we would have a substantial reason to fear punishment. But we can be confident and at peace in His perfect love for us on judgment day.
Accepting His gift of perfect love and sacrifice removes the fear of God’s judgment.
What is Perfect Love?
Jesus’ perfect love drives out our fear of judgment but is also encompasses every aspect of His character. Every thought and action expresses His love.
“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love!” Psalm 36: 5-7.
He expresses a perfect, priceless love in His every thought and action. His love in never ending and unfailing. It always protects and is completely unselfish. Our flaws and imperfections don’t stop His love.
In His love, we have nothing to fear.
What Causes the Spirit of Fear?
Fear is a common emotion. It can be a good thing if it’s in response to a dangerous situation. Our physical bodies react and prepare us to either flee from or fight off danger.
An imagined threat or outcome can also arouse fear. It may show up as apprehension or anxiety.
Stories of Fear in the Bible
We’re not alone in our fears. There are plenty of stories of fear in the Bible. We see it in the very beginning and throughout Scripture.
Adam and Eve’s guilty consciences and fear of punishment for disobeying God caused them to hide from Him.
Moses experienced fear when God commanded him to leave his flock of sheep and confront Pharaoh.
The 12 spies sent to scout out the Promised Land and bring back information reacted in fear. They returned with reports of “giants” that lived there in fortified cities and caused a panic among the people.
Timothy was facing fear of persecution and fierce opposition to his ministry. Paul encouraged him to continue on in his work with these words:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear will always be a part of our lives. We can be fearful of the future, our health, our country, jobs… the list can go on and on. But we don’t have to let fear control our lives or consume our thoughts.
God’s direction to “fear not” occurs many times in the Bible. He wants us living safely and securely within His perfect love.
Meanwhile, Satan is doing all in his power to make sure we stay fearful, not only of life’s circumstances, but even of God’s perfect love, protection, and care for us.
God’s perfect love can cast out our fear if we let it. And how do we do that? By believing what He has promised about His perfect love.
The Perfect Love
God is forever sinless, faithful, caring, merciful, compassionate, forgiving, understanding, and kind (for a start).
He is unconditionally and passionately in love with YOU. He desires to spend time with you and give you His wisdom, power, strength, and encouragement.
God protects and cherishes you. He gives you good and perfect gifts and blessings every day. He has spoken words of love and care over you in His Word, which will never change.
God reigns supreme in heaven on His throne of perfect justice and looks down on you with the desire to send you help in any hour of need.
Phew! It’s hard to wrap our heads around His character, isn’t it? But they all point to this:
We can count on His perfect love without fail. He has given everything He has for us, including His own Son.
Believing these truths about His love casts out fear and replaces it with His love.
Our human nature needs reminders of His truth and promises, because our world will continue to be a place of fear. Satan’s focus is to work on the places that give us the most fear.
Bible Verses to Cast Out Fear
The most powerful weapon for casting out fear is His Word. These words can bring His perfect love into focus when we need it.
•“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Go to Jesus and tell Him what you fear. He hears you and can deliver you from whatever you fear. It is an active way to trust Him completely. He does not want us living in fear!
•“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Conquer your fears by believing that Jesus is walking with you through all circumstances. He’s clearing the path in front of you and won’t ever leave you. Our Lord will scale mountains and swim rivers with you. He will always keep your head above the waves.
•“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”
When we fully trust Jesus to protect and help us in all things, He becomes our security. No fear can override His reliable help for us.
•“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Use the peace of Christ Jesus to be peaceful and confident in any circumstance.
When fear knocks on your door, answer with prayer. Remember that God is in control and trust in Him.
•“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” ESV.
When we become Christians, we gain a new relationship with our heavenly Father with all the privileges of a member of God’s family. One of these is receiving the “Spirit of adoption”- the Holy Spirit to guide, encourage, and love us.
As children of God, we receive the blessed gifts of of His Son, forgiveness, and eternal life. We can freely come to Him, our Abba!
•“But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” Isaiah 43:1.
God created, redeemed, and protected Israel, and He does the same for you and me.
Do not fear, ____ (insert your name here), you are His!
(Would you like these verses in Scripture Card form? Click on the image below ⇓) Scroll down in my Resource page to “Scripture Cards” and click the link.)
There is No Fear in Love
We can experience the perfect and compassionate love of Jesus every day of our lives. It’s the power of His magnificent love that casts out all fear.
When fear strikes:
•Keep your eyes on Jesus and your mind in His Word.
•Trust Him and surrender your fears to Him. Believe that He is bigger, stronger, and mightier than any fear you face.
•Praise Him in the face of fear. The attributes of His undying love will bring light into the darkness of fear.
•Declare His promises of true love for you when you are afraid-
Jesus loves me,
Jesus, you are my helper and my peace,
I am Yours; You have called me by name.
Then believe- truly know and trust- in His perfect and real love for you.
When fear bubbles up, you can squash it down and rise above it.
Prayer For Overcoming Fear
I come to you today with fear in my heart and mind. You know my struggles. I need your perfect, priceless, and unfailing love to be real to me today. I claim the promise that your Holy Spirit within me gives me power over my fear. Thank you for always being near me, covering me with your protection and loving kindness. You are the strength and love of my life; I will not fear. Thank you for hearing me and taking my fear from me with your mighty hand. I praise you for your perfect peace that calms me. You are my rock and my refuge; help me rest in you. In your precious name, I pray, dear Jesus.
Blessings of His perfect love,
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
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