Perfect Love Says, Fear Not!
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
Despair, anxiety, fear, stress, worry, all these are temptations of the enemy of God and us. But the Word from Heaven to all mankind and especially to the children of God is, “Fear not!” Likewise, our faith in Jesus Christ speaks to all that would come to tempt us, “Fear not!” “Do not be anxious!” “Despair not!” “Worry not!” “Stress not!”
The temptation to fear has only one source and it is not God. Since it does not come from Him we don’t need to accept it or allow it to rule over our lives. Much of fear is born of a sense that we are guilty or we are alone and without aid in times of trouble. I do not mean that all fear is bad or that all fear is a temptation. The Godly fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom as the Scriptures teach us.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalm 111:10
The fear that comes to tempt us, on the other hand, and render us anxious, agitated and filled with unrest, is the fear that brings torment. The only antidote to that is love, perfect love.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:17-19
I used to think that Scripture meant I had to somehow muster up perfect love in me to be able to live without fear. I couldn’t do it so I feared not being able to have perfect love. But the context of the passage above says something quite different. It says, first about love that it has been perfected among us…” Past tense, meaning it’s already done. How? It is perfected in the fact that Jesus Christ has died for our sins. We don’t have any sin for which we must pay a penalty any more. That work has been completed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Now as He is so are we in this world.
He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father and He is in this world at home in our hearts, both in Spirit and in His Word. Our salvation is the gift of God. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Having made that decision, we received Him into our hearts. And He has sent us the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever. By the baptism of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live in perfect love far from fear, far from torment. Moreover, we are even now in spirit, seated with Him in Heavenly places.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
When we answered the call to salvation it was Jesus knocking at the door of our hearts. When we opened our hearts and received Him, confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead we were saved, and that salvation is sure and steadfast unto the day He returns and we are united with Him in Heaven forever.
So then, while we are here on earth Satan may try to buffet us, and temptations may come, but they have no claim on us because perfect love is in our hearts. That is the love of God. In the midst of the temptation God will provide a way for us to escape from it. [1 Corinthians 10:13]
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
Finally, we are to be anxious for nothing. Put another way, nothing is to cause us anxiety. When anxiety comes to tempt us we should pray and submit the situation to God and let His peace keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
The words of the popular salvation hymn “Before the Throne of God Above” expresses it beautifully.
Before the throne of God above I have a strong, and perfect plea A great high Priest whose Name is Love Who ever lives and pleads for me My name is graven on His hands My name is written on His heart I know that while in heaven He stands No tongue can bid me thence depart No tongue can bid me thence depart When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end to all my sin Because the sinless Savior died My sinful soul is counted free For God the just is satisfied To look on Him and pardon me To look on Him and pardon me Behold Him there the risen Lamb My perfect spotless righteousness The great unchangeable I am The King of glory and of grace One with Himself I cannot die My soul is purchased by His blood My life is hid with Christ on high With Christ my Savior and my God! With Christ my Savior and my God!
Words: Vikki Cook and Charles Lees Bancroft©1977