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There Is No Fear In Love

1 John 4:16b-18
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus. 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. (NIVUK)

True love always generates confidence. The wonderful truth about being a child of God is that we can be confident that He will protect us and provide for us. But God is more than our Father; He is also our Holy Judge who cannot allow any sin into His heaven. How will His love protect us because we are not perfect? He cannot be sentimental towards us, and He would be unjust to ignore our sin.

The love of God is most clearly seen in sending Jesus to be punished for our sins, instead of us (1 John 4:10), so that we might be made right before God (2 Corinthians 5:21). His love arranged for the death of Christ, so that we might be born again into the family of God, and not fear the Day of Judgement. And better than that, we can look forward positively to the Judgement Day knowing that we will be declared not guilty of all sin. There is no doubt at all: we will not be under God's wrath if we are trusting in Jesus; instead we will be lavishly welcomed.

Having dealt with the most significant cause of fear, the wrath of God against sin, all other fears are also extinguished by God's love. The next biggest anxiety is fear of death which Satan uses to lock people into his domination (Hebrews 2:14-15). But in Christ, that fear should have no power. All other fears are either about the consequences of not being righteous, or the prospect of failure and loss. Although fear is a controlling emotion, the love of God is stronger and will drive out fear when we receive His love.

The privilege of being loved by God is often greatly underestimated by believers. Our sin has been atoned for, our guilt is removed, and the Day of Judgement will not separate us from God but confirm that we are eternally bound to Him. Fear is a controlling emotion used by Satan to dominate our lives; but God's love is stronger than fear and will drive it away if we trust Jesus. Yet many of us have a little way to go in fully accepting His love and living confidently every day. That is why we need to be reminded of how much He loves us, not just to sweeten our emotions but to confront fear.

Loving God. Thank You for loving me so much that You have provided a way for all my fears to be relieved. I am sorry when I practise worrying instead of receiving Your love; when I concentrate on how to manage bad things instead of trusting in Your love. Please help me to accept the truth of these verses so that I will choose to embrace Your love which is already embracing me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams