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 4:18 NLT
The perfect love of Jesus banishes all fear. This verse clearly says that if you are afraid, you have fear of punishment. Those who are inundated with fear aren't at peace in their relationship with God and can't experience His love. They believe they can never be good enough for God—that He just waits to punish them for every mistake they make or thought that springs into their mind.
And you know what? You can never be good enough. But you don’t have to be. Jesus was good enough for you. He became the perfect sacrifice and paid the debt for your sins—past, present, and future—once and for all time. Only when you grasp what you have received in Christ are you freed from the torment of sin and the emotional agony it stirs. His love for you is perfect and not based on your performance—what you do right or what you do wrong. You have freedom from all fear. But understanding and living this freedom is something else. The Lord wishes to perfect your understanding of His love—to get you to the point where His perfect unconditional love defines your spirit, soul, and body.
You received the perfect love of Jesus the moment you were born again. You received forgiveness. You received healing. You received His promises. You received His peace. For you to grasp these truths, you have to allow the Holy Spirit to change your perception of who you are and how God sees you. God doesn’t see the failures that plague you with guilt. God sees you pure and forgiven through the eyes of grace.
Until you believe the unconditional forgiveness in His love, you will fight fears which accompany feelings of punishment—of not being good enough. You must allow God to change what you can’t. You face your fears with the knowledge that Christ has already conquered the enemy—that your fears are defeated. When you know you are loved by God, you believe that God is not waiting to beat you up because of sin or failure. He is waiting to love you with His perfect love. You keep choosing to believe, and He brings Resurrection power to fulfill it.
“It is God who arms me with strength,” David wrote, “and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32, NKJV). Only the perfect love of Jesus convinces you that God is a good God! Only His love gives you strength and makes your way perfect. With His perfect love transforming your understanding of who you are in Christ, you grow to believe that He chose you to be His. You didn’t have to earn His love. It was freely given. And it is perfect within you.
When you persevere to know who you are in Christ, you will receive understanding. Perseverance will finish its work and convince you that you are completely loved and accepted by God. When you believe that you lack nothing in Him, you will experience the peace of His perfect love within your heart. His perfect love does cast out ALL fear.
©2021 Lynn Lacher