Imagine a life that is free from fears, anxieties, and apprehensions. Perhaps one would picture such a life as only possible in heaven, but the Bible indicates that “there is no fear in love” and that “perfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18). Fear is the consuming emotion that wrestles in uncertainty and anxiety; love casts out doubt because it rests in God’s perfect limitless concern for us. When seeking to solve problems on our own, fear is inevitable. When we understand that man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word of God then we will realize that subsistence is not by our own power, but by the grace of God that is rooted in His matchless love (Deuteronomy 8:3). Though the pressure mounts to bow the knee to the golden idol of fear, faith in the love of God assures the believer that he can serve God acceptably regardless of the potential risks or results (Daniel 3:17-18). The salvation relationship with Him through Jesus Christ is eternal, and nothing shall separate believers from that love (Romans 8:38-39).
There is a sense of purpose in living for and fulfilling the will of God despite the challenges ahead. Being humans who are derailed by sin, it is natural to recoil in fear and despair when these challenges arise. However, the love of God can empower Christians to be “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). Regardless of the situation or circumstances, “true Christian joy is the appropriate response to the love of God.” Why, then, do so many Christians experience fear instead of faith? God’s love is impeccable and immense, yet this essential attribute of God is overlooked or forgotten in the midst of one’s struggles. Recall the words of the songwriter Frederick M. Lehman who rejoiced in his song, “The Love of God:”
“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.”
The depths of God’s love are beyond the greatest measure yet we may wonder, “If God loves me, why would He allow me to suffer?” Recalling God’s omniscience, He always knows the exact needs of each of His children. If He knows our needs, yet we experiences suffering, it is reasonable to conclude that we need suffering in our life. God is not the author of suffering because He is not the creator of evil. Moreover, He is the redeemer of evil occurrences and brings about the greatest good despite wrongdoings. Because of these truths, we must conclude that suffering is permitted because it will facilitate the realization of our greater need to become more dependent upon God. Paul was afflicted by a messenger of Satan and, despite prayer for its removal, was informed that he must rely upon God’s grace to deal with the problem (II Corinthians 12:7-9). In response to God’s denial of the removal of the negative situation, Paul actually rejoiced because it was an opportunity to display God’s grace (II Corinthians 12:10). God’s love is held in perfect harmony with any struggle He permits. The light of God’s salvation is never diminished. Christians must therefore boldly repine, “The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). If one is to imagine a life free of anxieties and fears then one must become immersed in the depths of God’s love and allow “perfect love” to cast out fear.
My Prayer for Today:
O how great and deep is Your love for me! How humbled I am to receive Your love! Though I am encompassed by a “sea of opposing troubles,” I know that you can deliver me into my desired haven. Though I may suffer from many afflictions, I trust the in love you permitted each one to take place. Help me not to be bitter; help me to glorify you as I wait patiently and rest in Your love. I am confident that nothing will ever separate me from Your love, and through You I can be more than a conqueror. Help me to remember your amazing love as I go throughout my day. Come what may, let your perfect love cast out my fear. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.