There is No Fear in Love
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” (1 John 4:16-18, NASB)
There is no fear in love.
All of God’s promises to us are awesome, but there is something about this one that catches my heart. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is one of the verses I try to live by, and model my heart after. It’s a verse that has been a banner over my relationship and a mantra through some really hard
There is no fear in love.
As someone who is prone to fear and anxiety, it is a good reminder that if I have fear, then there is still more room to be perfected in love. If I feel anxiety over a situation well up inside of me, then I am not fully leaning into or standing in love. If I have overwhelming worry over the future or I am scared of the world around me, I am not trusting in God and remembering the love that bought me, saved me, and redeemed me.
The truth is, you cannot separate God from love. His composition is fully love, and everything that pours out of Him is in the name of His love. Yes, even His judgement is grounded in it. His judgement against evil is for the love of His bride. His anger against darkness is because of His love for you and His desire to reconcile Himself to you.
God is love, through and through. And He would give all that love to win us to Him. So much so, that He physically gave a piece of Himself– His Son, Jesus– to be born of flesh, die, and be the propitiation, or the payment, for the separation between us.
To understand that action– that sacrifice– is to understand love. That God so loved us, and being made up of love, gave a piece of Himself to die so that if we believe in Him, we could eternally live with Him. That is the love the Church lives in. That is the love we have access to, and are invited to not only understand, but take part in. And to know and experience that love is to know that fear cannot exist on the same playing field as that love.
So when I fall back into that fear– because I am flesh and flesh is weak– I have to remind myself that God is love and the price He paid to share that love with me. That is the promise I have to lean into in order to expel my temporary yet legitimate fear.
There is no fear in love. There is no shame in love. There is no score-keeping in love. There is no racism in love. There is no prejudice in love. There is no depression in love. There is no disappointment in love.
And no, I’m not trying to be hippy-dippy, and I’m not trying to say that there is no hardship in love, because there will always be hardship on this side of eternity. But I am saying that I don’t have to fear that hardship or the possibility of suffering because of love. When I lean into it and allow it to process me, it reminds me of what truly matters and what I press on towards: only Jesus.
And that makes me a better friend, sister, daughter, fiancé, coworker, and leader. It will help me be a better wife and mother when those days come. Being perfected in Godly love helps me to love others better. Actually, I’ll take it a step further and say that being perfected in God’s love makes me step out and challenge myself to love others better.
So whatever you’re facing today, I encourage you to confront each and every worry or fear with this promise: There is no fear in love, and perfect love– that being God’s love, the only love that is able to be perfect– casts out all fear. If we understand His love, it changes the way we love, and in fact, it makes us better.