What are you afraid of?
The first thing that comes to my mind is a bungee jump. I’m not especially afraid of heights, but the idea of jumping into a ravine with a rope wrapped around my legs so I can swing around, upside down, after plummeting 200 feet, is not my idea of a good time. Especially not when you’re paying for the privilege!
You may not regularly ask yourself this fear question, but maybe that’s the problem. Fear is a real and present fight for so many of us.
While few of us are doing things like bungee jumps daily, fighting fear is an almost daily occurrence for millions of us. We dress it up, make it socially acceptable, call it ‘embarrassment’, ‘being cautious’, or even ‘worry’. Yet, when we pull of the mask, we’re just plain scared.
As Christians, we are given weapons, through God’s Word, to fight against fear. They are not ‘the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds’ (2 Corinthians 10:4). They are weapons of the mind and the heart that can help us cut free from fear’s entanglement.
We find one these weapons in 1 John 4:18:
‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.’
These verses are famous, but what do they actually mean? The context is John talking about who God is and the love He has for us.
This is the main question of every human heart, the most important question in the world. Every human being is asking this question, even if they can’t articulate it. So much of our fear comes from this search for love, for approval, for validation. God made us for this love and we will be restless and afraid until we find it from Him.
When we realize that 1 John 4:18 is true, then that love, God’s unconditional love, will drive out our fear. We’re no longer subject to the approval or validation of others. We aren’t bound by the ropes of worry or anxiety about the future because we know that our loving God will keep us safe.
As we grow in our awareness of love, we find freedom from fear.