love overcoming fear

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:15-19

Fear comes to us in many forms and ways. One of the things I’ve noticed is just how hard it can hit, like all the sudden, and how debilitating that can be. And often after having a time of peace and rest. I’ll find myself fighting it off as best I can, scrambling to do whatever: looking up information, seeking to act according to what Scripture tells us, praying. And all of that can make the needed difference. But all too often the fear gradually sinks in and takes over. Not that anyone can tell, as I carry on with life. But nothing is the same. And even when one gets the needed help or answer, that ill feeling simply won’t dissipate like you would expect, at least not normally.

We are told in this Scripture that perfect love drives out fear. That fear has to do with the sense of feeling condemned, of being punished. That somehow underneath all our fear is the unsubstantiated, indeed groundless feeling that God is not for us, that somehow we’re not in God’s favor. We can believe that “in Christ” all of our sins are taken care of as far as our standing goes. But we somehow are still overcome with paralyzing fear which takes over everything.

I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve been through it too many times to think I have much of anything helpful to say about it. The vast majority of fears turn out to be unfounded. And even the ones that have merit, or bring trouble really do not impact our lives in God.

John seems to me to point both to God’s love for us, and the love we share in community with each other in Jesus. That is supposed to help us through these hard places, people praying for us, we praying for each other. And God in Christ always present for us in perfect love. If only we could better grasp this, and let it sink into our heart and become more and more a part of who we are. Yes, we are much loved by the God who himself is love. And we’re to love each other, and others with that same love.

Part of the process I take it of living and becoming like Jesus in this life.