There are times when we all experience fear of the unknown and what the future may hold, it is a natural reaction to threatening or intimidating situations. But feeling trapped by fear and anxiety is a growing problem and impacting many lives today. Scripture tells us that perfect love casts out fear – one of those phrases that can be said easily and glibly. But what does it mean? How does perfect love cast out fear?
What Does the Bible Say About Perfect Love?
The Bible declares that God is love. A phrase or a statement that many will argue over, but it is an emphatic declaration in Scripture. Our faith is based on choosing to believe, in what God has said, and, in what Jesus has done for us. Perfect love flows from God, and He is the source of all love. We can rely and depend on God’s love for us, because His love never fails.
The Perfect Love of God
All love comes ultimately from God. He seeks us out – God’s love is intentional towards us and unconditional. When we start to experience God’s love, our love grows in response to His love. Jesus is the demonstration of God’s love in that He willingly gave up everything for us. God sent His only Son so that we might know the forgiveness of our sins and have the gift of eternal life.
We have the assurance of God’s love for us with the proof of His love in that Jesus died for us. As we respond to God’s love, we are challenged and motivated to imitate Him, in some small way. We are called to love God, and to love one another as evidence of our knowledge of His love for us.
Love is not optional – it is a command. But you might say, how can you command someone to love? Because we have the witness – perfect love has been demonstrated for us by Jesus. At the cross Jesus showed true sacrificial love, the willingness not only to give but to suffer for someone else.
Worldly Love vs Godly Love
Worldly love demands reciprocation, that is the accepted and expected attitude today. To be loving, kind, and generous to those who respond with gratitude and who will reciprocate.
But God’s love is freely available to all. It was while we were still sinners, and far from God, that He loved us and sent Christ to die for us.
Worldly love sets boundaries, with expectations and limitations. Many would argue that this is wise and healthy for building good relationships. But this is necessary because of our human frailty with the possibility of abuse and exploitation.
God’s love, however, is limitless. His love knows no end and His love never fails. God’s love is our life, health, hope, and future. And as we receive His love, our love for God is revealed to the extent that we are able to love others.
As Christ demonstrated God’s love, His sacrifice becomes the definition of perfect love. Love that submits to the will of God even to the point of suffering. A love that silences all our doubts.
What Does the Bible Say About Casting out Fear?
We receive and respond to God’s love, by loving Him, and loving one another. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love and as God’s love grows and develops in us we have assurance and confidence in our salvation. As we become more like Jesus, God’s love is made complete in us. The love that we are able to have for one another becomes a witness to the fact that we are followers of Jesus.
Perfect Love Casts out Fear NKJV
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not being made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18 NKJV
Fear described here is the feeling of being frightened or terrified with the anticipation of pain, punishment, torment, or endless anguish. But if we know the love of God, how can we be afraid of God? It is by placing our trust in His perfect love that our fears are banished. By choosing to believe in the truth of God’s word and the freedom from fear that Jesus has won for us.
Perfect Love Casts out Fear NIV
“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.1 John 4:18 NIV
There is now no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus, we have been set free from fear. The fear that is connected to punishment and the fear of God’s judgment has been lifted off us. We are forgiven and reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus. Now we have the privilege of knowing the righteousness, joy, and peace of fellowship with God.
How Does Perfect Love Cast out Fear?
The love of God flowing in and through us drives away all our fears. As we know His love, and live and move in His love, we have an assurance of our salvation. We should no longer fear God’s judgment because genuine love confirms our salvation. If we have feelings of condemnation and are feeling afraid, then God’s love has not yet been made perfect in us.
Sometimes we need to strengthen ourselves with the truth of God’s word. This is because we have an enemy who wants to steal our destiny by filling our minds with doubts and fears. The truth of God’s word and prayer has the power to set us free!
Related Post: Take Every Thought Captive
The perfect love of God will cast out or drive away all our fears. It is complete in every way and brings freedom. As we reflect and meditate on the truth of God’s word, we are released from fear into the wide-open space of God’s grace – a place of infinite possibilities!
“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us – set us right with him, make us fit for him – we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” Romans 5:1-2 MSG
If we bring all of our fears and anxieties to God in prayer and give them to Him, we receive His peace. This is a fresh peace of mind, which guards our hearts and renews our strength, to trust in the perfect love of God!
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Lord, I trust in the truth of Your word and in Your perfect love for me. And I trust that You, Almighty God, are able to take all of my worries and cares. I release them right now to You, and as I do I believe I will receive Your peace. I am no longer paralyzed by fear and ask for the vision to see the possibilities that You have in store for me, in Jesus Name. Amen.