“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18 ESV).
In the wake of our newly recognized terrorist ridden culture, the people of America are reminded of a great evil, which exists among humanity. There are certain forces of evil, and people, which are driven by it, to thrive in order to place fear inside the hearts and minds of people.
Prior to surrendering my life to Christ, I knew great fear; it brought me anxiety and thoughts of lacking control. The amazing irony of following Christ is that a person must surrender their body and soul to Christ—losing all control; however, at the same time, a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) replaces fear, so that the person gains a complete sense of protection. I’ve always loved the verse about peace and passing understanding, but have come to be inspired by its uniqueness.
The reality of this verse is that a person will not understand why he or she has peace—that God’s peace will rest upon them—they will be at ease in the midst of evil. Have you ever had this happen to you? Have you ever had a time when everything was falling apart, yet you had an odd sense that everything was in control? That is God’s peace.
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The reality of evil is that it will exist among us. But even more, is the reality in the power of the Gospel—that we are free to live emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically, without any anxiety or fear. Why is this?
The Apostle John wrote, “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:16). While this statement has been taken out of context for erroneous doctrine, it is the centrifugal pillar upon which all of Christianity is presented. The imparted understanding of God’s love, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, brings such peace and content to the heart of the believer that even in times of turmoil, despair, utter horrific torture, persecution, or terrorism, that God’s perfected love casts out all fear!
I like to advise people who are battling with anxiety and fear, that if they are experiencing fear they need to ask themselves this question:
(1) Since God is love and perfect love casts out fear, where is my fear coming from?
The logical conclusion is this:
My fear is either coming from within my own understanding, which God tells me not to listen (Pro. 3:5), or it is coming from the world or the evil one, which God has also advised me that He has overcome (“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” Jn. 16:33).
Do not allow fear to grip your heart…because there is nothing stronger than the love of God, through Jesus Christ. I leave you with this reminder:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ (Romans 8:35, 37-39 ESV)
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Matthew Fretwell is married, has three daughters, loves Jesus, being a dad, people, and coffee. Besides being an author (Denied Desires; Identity Theft, Sanctificagious, 30:1 Manhood), he’s Pastor of a “comeback church,” (Oak Hall Baptist) in Sandston, Virginia, and is the founder of Job 31 Ministries. Matt’s an advocate board member of Living Bread Ministries, a global comprehensive Church Planting organization. He’s also a writer for Church Planter Magazine. Twitter: @w84harpazo or Facebook