“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18a, NIV).
There is no perfect earthly love. Earthly love changes with circumstance and changes with feeling. But there is a perfect spiritual love which conquers fear, and lives in faith that God will take care of anything that comes against it. This perfect love carries me safely through all of life's struggles and heartaches. It never deserts me, and it never changes. When this spiritual love perfects my life, I receive greater faith to believe in the impossible. What is this perfect love? It is the love of God who gave His son, Jesus Christ, for me. If that is beyond my human capacity to understand, it is meant to be. I can't understand such a perfect love with my mind. It is useless to try to analyze it. My mind can't fathom the depth of this sacrificial love, but my soul can receive it.
The only way to receive this perfect love that conquers fear is to allow Christ into my heart. He loved me enough to die for my sin so I might be set free from its control over me. He, who was perfect without any sin, willingly took my sin so it might be crucified forever in my life and I might receive His perfect love. Fear can only be defeated when His perfect love lives in me. When I let go of what is imperfect in me, I receive His love which washes away all that I have been so I may receive all that He is. With His perfect love in my life continually changing me, His love becomes stronger in me and perfects me. Only His perfected love in my life can drive out fear, and give me faith to believe. If I remain rooted in His love and growing in His grace, perseverance will finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything (James 1:4). I will be strong enough to choose faith over fear.
If I am dealing with great fear, then His love has not been perfected in me. My mind has been focused on my struggles, and my feelings have pulled me away from His promised fullness of life. The Lord will keep me in His perfect peace only when my mind remains on Him instead of any circumstance (Isaiah 26:3). I cannot grow stronger on what I “feel”. I can only become stronger on what “I know”. Today I rejoice in the promise that His perfect love drives out all fear. It truly does drive it out as His love is continually perfected in me. That is my promise and that is my journey―to be perfected by the Lord who gave His life for me.