The first verse that pops into my head whenever I am counseling someone (or myself) to be set free from fear is 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” Let’s pull out one part of this verse: “Perfect love drives out fear.” When I see this phrase drives out, I picture herders of horses or cattle surrounding the animals and driving them out of the corral into the outside fields. The Lord wants to drive out our fear with His love. Fear is like these wild animals who the Lord has the power to cast out by His strength and authority.
1 John 4:17-18 is all about God’s love for us and His desire for us to love others in response. In verse 10, we see that God has given us the ultimate gift of love. “This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” The passage goes on to explain that when we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, His love fills our hearts. “And so we know and RELY on the love God has for us” (1John 4:16).
The second half of 1 John 4:18 says that “fear has to do with punishment.” But we are set free from fear of God’s punishment for our sins because Christ’s death satisfied this debt. Now we are free to receive the fullness of God’s love. In fact, Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). Yes, God’s love for us far surpasses any love we receive from others. He has PERFECT LOVE for us. Therefore, we can take courage. Our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus love us beyond what we can even comprehend. This kind of Fatherly love is always protecting, always providing, and always caring for His children. Thus we can trust Him in the midst of all circumstances!
Take courage my friends. God’s perfect love drives out fear. Meditate on His love today and the things that are bringing fear to your heart will be driven away!