“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. 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 4:16b-18).
There’s a lot that has brought the Apostle John to this point in his first letter. There are those who feel as if they have the market cornered on God and who readily belittle others who they consider as “less spiritual.” John writes to encourage those who are taking criticism and who are truly seeking to have high view of God and humble view of themselves.
The theme of “love” is a thread that runs throughout John’s literature. John assures that the very nature of God is love. The Apostle affirms that love is not only the foundation of our relationship with the Father, but is foundational in our relationship with others. With both those whom we agree and those we do not.
Everything of course is encompassed within Jesus’ beautiful message: “God so loved…” (John 3:16).
But here in 1 John, the Apostle moves from “love” to “fear.” “There is no fear in love.” “Perfect love drives out fear.” The connection to love (and context of John’s message) is enveloped in relationship. Relationship with God. And relationship with others. And what I believe our Father through His servant John hopes to communicate with us in this is that for those who are in a right relationship with God fear is not a part of the equation. The perfect love of God revealed in the Gospel of Jesus drives it away. However, if we were to be honest, we each, very often, have our fears. And even though John is speaking of eternity and how there is no fear (“condemnation” to use Paul’s word – cf. Romans 8:1) for those who are in Christ Jesus, I wonder what might be weighing on your heart and mind right now?
I wonder: What is it that you’re afraid of? What is it that is causing you concern right now? What is it that is weighing you down? What is it that is keeping you up at night? What is it that is dividing your attention? What are your fears?
Because the message of Jesus can be summed up in these words: “You are not alone.”
Jon Walker in his book, Costly Grace, writes: “Fear whispers in our ear that we face danger alone, that God is unaware of our plight and that Jesus is unavailable in our time of need” (p217).
You are not alone. You can trust God. You can trust our Father. You can trust Him.
You are not alone.
Glory to God!