There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18 NJKV)
This is one of my favorite scriptures that has inspired me to trust and stand, so many times, in faith toward God’s promised devotion to His family. The love that I’m are talking about here is God’s love for those who have dared to receive Christ as their personal Savior. It was His love that allowed Jesus to come and be our personal sacrifice for sins we could not atone for ourselves. 1 John 4:19 expresses that “We love Him because He first loved us”. The love that is perfect is God’s love for us and not our perfect performance because we all know none of us is perfect. Fortunately, God, in His love, has promised to help us do the things He desires us to do such as love Him and our fellow human beings.
When we begin to understand just how much God loves us with a perfect love, we find that it expels, cast out, and drives out fear. Fear involves torment and thoughts of punishment, which is the enemy of faith. If we have fear of God’s intentions, it is because we have not been made complete in His love. We must allow love to work for us by banishing fear and promoting faith in God. This is love’s work. Faith (that is, faith in God’s Word) is what releases God’s power and strength in our lives.
When we face situations that tend to promote fear, we must remember God’s committed love and declared devotion to His children. The very thought of the level and quality of His love should inspire confidence, not in ourselves but the God who loved us first and promised to stand with us and never forsake us. Fear, in the face of understood and received love, must retreat. In the absence of fear, faith will grow as we pursue a knowledge and loving understanding of God’s commitment to us through His Word.
Why is this one of my favorite scriptures? Because I make mistakes, missteps, errors, and outright sinful decisions; but when I remember I am loved and can ask God to first forgive me and then, through faith in Him, help me to live victoriously obedient to His will.
Love will keep fear away from us and allow faith to operate, making overcoming power and strength available to us. Ask Him to make you perfect, mature, and complete in His love. (Adrian)