Fear or Love?

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: 1 John 4:7-21

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear . . . whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (v. 18)

Has anyone ever lived a life without fear? Even heroes, brave and strong, have felt fear of some kind. Even if we aren’t afraid of enemies or danger or physical harm, we may be afraid of losing our reputation, letting someone down, or making a wrong move. According to today’s verse, anyone who fears “has not been perfected in love.” It’s safe to say that no human is capable of perfect love because we all have fears.

When tragedies occur, people are quick to voice their fears. What if a natural disaster strikes our town? What if a shooting occurs in my child’s school? What if violence visits the next public event I attend? Where in the world is a safe place? Can love really be an antidote for all these fears?

On our own, we cannot summon up the love that eliminates fear. Perfect love exists only in God himself and it’s his love that casts out fear. If we believe that he loves us, he will dwell in us and perfect his love in us himself.

Jesus, God’s Son, the Savior of the world (v. 14) understands our fears, too. Even in Gethsemane when he feared for his life, he turned to his Father for courage. We are capable of loving without fear only because of who God is and because he abides in us, giving us confidence that love can indeed replace fear. —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: Dear Father God, replace our fears with your perfect love.