By B.J. Funk
Have you recently received news about your health or the health of someone you love, and you live daily inside of this frightening revelation? Has a tragedy catapulted you to a new urgency that has the possibility of stripping your finances? Are you stuck on Fear Mountain, moving further up the Slope of Stress toward the Pinnacle of Pressure? Discouragement and depression are a difficult place to abide. You have no anchor to balance you as you move up and down Fear Mountain, but you just hope daily that something will come along to help you. Well, it has.
There is blessed help on the other side of this particular mountain. That something is found in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Not the answer you were looking for? Perfect love casts out fear? What exactly is this perfect love John talks about?
Our love for God and God’s love for us can deliver us from tormenting fear. Perfect love is love that is allowed to exert its proper influence on the soul. It delivers the mind from alarms. If we had perfect love, we would be entirely free from all dread in regard to the future. Fear torments us. It is a powerful and painfully distressing emotion. Fear captures us, moves inside, is arrogant enough to actually set up camp on our heart and soul and cause tremendous distress. This is not what God wants for those who believe in and love Him.
As we climb up Fear Mountain, we can take ourselves to the other side of that mountain. Like opposite colors, love is the opposite of fear. Move to the other side and watch how love can push fear out of the driver’s seat. Fear does not have to win. We resolve our fears by focusing on His immeasurable love for us. This is the love that can quiet our fears and calm the raging storms. This is the love that can give us confidence and strength. Is this just available to a select few? Never!
Romans 8:38-39 makes sure this love is for everyone when Paul tells us “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Fear of rejection has hindered people from beginning wonderful relationships, like those who refuse another chance at love after the break-up of a marriage. Fear of failure has kept many from starting a new business. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.”
It is estimated that 80 percent of Christians today are oppressed by a spirit of fear. Fear tends to bring us down when we are caught it its strong hold. When we fear something that has not happened, we almost convince and convict ourselves that it will happen. When we dwell on a negative response from the doctor, when we cry, worry and clog up our spiritual arteries so we cannot even receive life-giving strength from God’s love, then what hope do we have that things will turn out okay? We’ve already started living in the negative concerning our problem. God wants us to live in the positive, to expect new faith, to believe in His love in such a way that you are actually moving to the opposite side of Fear Mountain where love resides.
King David gives us good advice when he says in Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Fear is the biggest enemy we have to face. If we can move past the fear of uncertainties, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of losing a loved one, then we can reside embraced in a love so dynamic that one cannot understand it unless it is experienced.
Love prompts us to seek others; fear causes us to shrink from others. Fear brings its own punishment to the one who has not tried to live inside of God’s love. It is inconsistent with the gracious design of God to have his followers miserable.
Today, live inside of God’s love and believe in your heart that He can make a difference for you. Determine to get off of Fear Mountain and move to the other side, to Love Mountain. Set up camp and trust God’s love to take you through whatever fears you are facing.