That awful insidious infector of dread.
That deadly tormentor that keeps us shackled and shamed.
That cruel instigator of rejection, insecurity, control , selfishness, bitterness, greed, anger, rage …
It all starts with fear.
So why do we fear? 1 John 4:18 says There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
I think that pretty much sums it up … fear reigns where love doesn’t. Those areas in our lives and hearts that haven’t yet been touched by His love … healed by His love … restored by His love … are the very areas that are subject to fear.
And we all have them.
So what’s the answer? How can we shift our perspective to operate less out of fear and more out of love?
I think there is a key in the second part of 1 John 4:18. The NLT says it this way: “If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
Who among us has fully experienced His perfect love in every area? If we had, we’d live a lot more in peace … and lot less in fear.
Yet what is so amazing about this marvelous and glorious God of love is that He meets us where we’re at—even when where we’re at isn’t where we want to be. We don’t need to try to conjure up feelings of courage and faith that aren’t yet there …
We just need to let Him love us—right where we are.
He is Love. And He wants us to experience His love where we’re at right now. Because knowing the absolute constancy of His unconditional love is what ultimately leads to trusting Him. And when you get right down to it, most of our fear stems from a lack of trust.
A lack of trust in His goodness.
A lack of trust in His good intentions toward us.
But here’s the thing about trust … it builds over time. No one starts out trusting God completely. No one. And you know what? He’s okay with that. You need to be okay with it too. I used to think I trusted Him a lot more than I did—until circumstances revealed that I really didn’t trust Him quite as much as I thought. But when I came to that realization, I also realized He already knew. He was already waiting for me there. He simply invited me—from that place—to step into a deeper level of trust as I learned to rest in His love.
I had a friend who had been raised in a religious environment that ended up giving her a greatly distorted idea of God’s character. After many years, she finally began to see Him—just a little—as He really was. During this time of slowly breaking through the lies and distortions she had believed, she heard Him say to her, “You don’t trust Me much, do you?” She answered honestly and said, “No. No, I don’t.” Then He spoke to her again and said something I think we all need to remember …
“That’s okay. Just trust Me as much as you can.”
Just trust Him as much as you can. That’s what I need to do. That’s what you need to do. Trust Him as much as you can. Beating yourself up and reprimanding yourself for failing to trust Him more is NOT going to chase away your fear. It’s not going to “help” you trust Him more. But simply letting Him love you—right where you are—will.
So do that—trust Him as much as you can. If that’s a lot—great. Ask for the grace to trust Him even more (because there’s always more). If trusting Him as much as you can is only a little, that’s okay too. Start there and trust Him as much as you can.
Above all… let Him love you. Quit focusing on your fear and your failures, and focus instead on Love. Focus on Him. He doesn’t need to hear you repent one more time or tell Him yet again how you’ve messed up. Stop. Be still. Rest in His complete acceptance.
And in that place of perfect Love…
You just may find the courage to finally let go of fear.
Here is the podcast link for this week’s devotional: Monday Morning Musings: Letting Go of Fear
And the SoundCloud Link: