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 4:16).
There’s that word again—fear. Why do I fear that which I cannot control? If God is sovereign, doesn’t He have power over that which causes me to shake in my boots? Is my fear irrational, then? I don’t think its the body’s chemical reaction to unpleasantness that is at issue here.
A reporter interviewed a missionary soon after the devastating earthquake that toppled so much of Haiti. He stated that he’d been in the country thirty years. He’d seen political upheaval, disease, hurricanes, and mudslides. But he had never known this kind of terror in his life.
Preachers exhort, “Do not fear. If you are weak, God will strengthen. If you thirst—God will provide a fountain. If you hunger, God will supply.” But in reality, many wonderful Christians do hunger, thirst, and succumb to the ravages of the flesh. Does God expect us to ignore our human composition when confronted with the terrible?
If fear is an instinct, as natural as gulping for air after emerging from a fire or climbing out of a deep pool, why does the Bible equate it as a sin? Or does the verse imply that it is a sin to remain in a state of fear?
I wonder if fear is like anger, natural but laden with potential harm if we react to the anger or fear in a way that does not glorify God. Perhaps the one who continues in fear has not yet surrendered that fear to God’s sovereignty. And if we wallow in our fear we are exercising a belief that God has sent the trouble as punishment. Just as the Bible says to be angry and sin not, God reminds the believer there is a solution for fear. We need not nor should we continue in it.
When we do, when we allow uncertainty to paralyze or when we react impulsively, we rob ourselves of God’s provision. We’d rather believe he chastens us than loves us. While he may not remove the circumstance that caused the fear, He will most assuredly carry His child over or through the horrific. If death is the result, then we are forever in His arms. Conversely, when we claim that Love, there is no longer any room for fear.
Ponder me back.