By Sam McKeen
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.1 John 4:18
Have you ever been paralyzed by fear? I have. But the funny thing is that most of the times that I am overwhelmed by fear it is not something that would be considered “scary”. In my experience, fears in life most often revolve around pain, loss, disappointment, and failure. It is interesting how fear manifests itself. If we are honest, many times what we are afraid of is due to our own incorrect thinking.
What should we do when fear is rearing its menacing head in our hearts and minds?
You need to own the fear. Admit that you are afraid and name what it is you are fearful of. Often, reflecting on why we are afraid helps us to identify the real source of fear.
There is nothing wrong with acknowledging things that are overwhelming us and causing us to be fearful. The problem is when we allow fear to dominate our lives and distract us from focusing on Christ. We must remember that as God’s children we have no real reason to fear because of our great God’s amazing love.
God’s love speaks directly to our fears. Consider what Romans 8:31-39 has to say about the power of God’s love.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39
Consider three truths about God’s love in this passage.
#1. God’s love guarantees His promises will be fulfilled.
In verse 31 we are told that if God is for us then no one can be against us. There is no power that is capable of keeping God’s promises from coming true. Fear takes its proper place when we recall that nothing can stop God from fulfilling every promise that He has made. We are absolutely secure knowing that the Lord’s promises regarding His care for us do not change regardless of the circumstances we may face.
#2. God’s love guarantees salvation through Christ and Christ is interceding for us.
Verse 35 is an amazing verse. Everyone who is in Christ goes from condemned to justified. AND Jesus also makes intercession for those who are justified. This should be a great encouragement, especially when you are overwhelmed by fear.
Consider that while our prayers are not always aligned with the will of God, Jesus’ prayers always are.
This truth gives us security in uncertainty. It gives us comfort and peace even when things are weighing heavily on our minds. We can go to sleep at night assured that He sustained us through today’s trouble and that He will sustain us through tomorrow.
This ought to create a deeper love for Christ. Why? The more we experience and understand His love for us, the more we will naturally desire to love Him.
#3. God’s love guarantees that there is security in our relationship with Him.
As we see in verses 35, 38-39, nothing, no matter how devastating the circumstance and no matter how large the catastrophe, can change our position in Christ.
Whatever is at risk whether it be a job, housing, career, health, a relationship etc., it does not change our status with our GOD. There is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ.
God’s love is too powerful to be broken by anything that He has created. No other form of security is capable of making that claim. God’s people are the most secure people in the world!
You will experience hard things in this life and it is wise to make appropriate preparations for those potentially difficult or dangerous circumstances.
However, you can live courageously and confidently, knowing that God’s love for His children guarantees that all His promises will be fulfilled. Christ saved you and He intercedes for you at the right hand of the Father. Because of your relationship with God, you have security.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.1 Timothy 1:7