1 John 4:17-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
17In this [Union and Fellowship with Him], Love is Completed and Perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is NO FEAR IN LOVE [dread does not exist]. But PERFECT (complete, full-grown) LOVE (our Lord Jesus Christ) drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
What an amazing passage of scripture written to the early church believers by our brother John! In this whole chapter, he was reminding them of who they were… beloved of Jesus Christ and loved by our Father. He was encouraging them to never fear because they were IN UNION AND ONE WITH THE GOD WHO IS PERFECT LOVE! Of all the believers in the world who had a lot to fear were our brothers and sisters in the early church. They had to leave their homes because of persecution. Many were imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ. But greatest of all, many died for their faith in Christ. John understood the fears they faced because he too had been banished to the island of Patmos, alone, because of his love and faith in Jesus Christ. John reminds them to remember their Union and Oneness with Jesus Christ who lives within them and who is PERFECT LOVE TO CAST OUT ALL OF THEIR FEARS.
Fear is one of the enemies we all must face and deal with in our lives. Not one of us is immune to that liar. In Adam, we all used to know Union, Oneness, harmony, peace, rest, and love with our Heavenly Father before Adam disobeyed our Father and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Remember what happened after he did.
Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You (Father) [walking] in the garden, and I WAS AFRAID because I was naked; so I hid
Adam introduced us to fear but Jesus came to introduce us to LOVE… PERFECT LOVE! It is impossible to fear and trust or fear and love the Lord at the same time; that’s why Jesus destroyed all of our fears on the cross. Fear is filled with anxiety, punishment, torment, dread, worry, and terror. But, what you may never have thought about, fear is filled with pride. Whenever we are afraid of something or someone, pride says to us:
“HOW CAN I HANDLE THIS?” or “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?” When fear speaks to us, it never tells us to pray and let Jesus handle the situation. When Adam heard fear speak to him, what did he do? He saw the problem, he was naked then he sewed fig leaves together to make him an apron to cover himself then hid in the bushes from PERFECT LOVE. Fear is always trying to give us a solution, but it never tells us to turn to our Lord who has already overcome ALL OF OUR FEARS… FEAR HAS BEEN DEFEATED!
The word fear comes from the Greek word
- acrophobia, fear of heights
- aerophobia, fear of flying
- arachnophobia, fear of spiders
- astraphobia, fear of thunder and lightning
- autophobia, fear of being alone
- claustrophobia, fear of confined or crowded spaces
- hemophobia, fear of blood
- hydrophobia, fear of water
- ophidiophobia, fear of snakes
- zoophobia, fear of animals
As a retired psychotherapist, I learned many behavioral methods to help people work through their phobias and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which I had). However, I found one method which never failed. Those who are Beloved of the Lord, I instructed them to write down their fears, along with the date, and give all of their fears to their Lord who lived within them.
I have shared with you many of my fears I gave to the Lord. But, I asked my husband, Tony, if I can share one he recently gave to the Lord and is now totally free! My love used to be afraid of driving over bridges. He was terrified! Whenever he was driving and came close to a bridge, I watched as he clenched the stirring wheel with both hands, slowed down, and kept his eyes focused on the road. While driving from Ponte Vedra to Jacksonville, there are two bridges you can’t get around; one takes you to the airport and one takes you to Interstate 10. My love used to always ask me, “Are we getting close to the bridge yet?” When we got closer he prayed and asked the Lord for grace. This was his focused ritual before we crossed those bridges. But one day as he and I were talking about his fear, I asked him, “Honey have you ever given your fear to the Lord; it belongs to Him?” My honey said no. So, one morning while he was talking to the Lord, he gave his fear to the Lord. Afterward, I remember my love driving across the bridge faster, the next time with one hand, and finally, he smiled at me and said, “Why was I ever afraid of driving across bridges?” Praise the Lord! The secret is not about praying about our fears, but giving our fears to our Lord Jesus Christ who conquered ALL OF OUR FEARS FOR US SO WE WON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THEM.
From that day forward because Tony gave his fear of bridges to the Lord, he rests in that area with Perfect Love who casts out all of
God never gave us the spirit of fear, Adam did! But our Jesus has come to live inside of us to rid us of ALL of our fears if we would just let Him!