Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
—1 John 1:18 NL
The love of Jesus expels all fear. This verse clearly says that if we are afraid, we are afraid of punishment. There rises a mentality of “I can never be good enough”. And you know what? On one level that is true. You can’t save yourself from the guilty torment of sin. You can’t save yourself from the mental and emotional agony of failure. On another level this reasoning is false. It is only in Jesus that you are good enough—not based on what you do right or what you do wrong, but based on Jesus’ forgiveness for you on Calvary. He died to set you free. If you have accepted Him as your Savior, you have the ability to be free from all fear. Understanding and living this freedom is something else. Well, the truth of the matter is, it is real even if you haven’t experienced it. It is His promise for you. The Lord wishes to perfect His perfect love in you—to get you to the point where His love, which defeats all fear, is as natural as breathing.
The only way to receive His perfect love that conquers fear is to first allow Jesus into your heart, and then allow Him to change your perception of who you are. He doesn’t see what you have done. He sees you forgiven. He sees me through the eyes of grace. Until you grasp the depth of forgiveness in His grace, you will forever fight the fears which accompany feelings of punishment—of not being good enough.
The love of God was perfected by Jesus on Calvary when He died for you. You can’t perfect it within yourself. You allow Him to change what you can’t. You face your fears with a decision that He will conquer them for you. You decide that God is not waiting to beat you up because of sin or failure. He is waiting to forgive and love you with His perfect love. You keep making the decision to believe, and He brings Resurrection power to fulfill it.
The perfect love of His grace washes away all that you have been so you may receive all that He is. With His perfect love continually changing you, His love becomes stronger in you and perfects you. Only His love can drive out fear and give faith to believe. If you remain rooted in His love and growing in His grace, perseverance will finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. You will be strong enough to always choose faith over fear. You will continually experience His perfect love.
© 2018 Lynn Lacher