There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. - I John 4:18
No fear in love? Hmm, that's an interesting and rather convicting thought. If perfect love casts out fear, and we're still worried or afraid, what does that say about us? It says that either we're not loving God like we should or that we're not secure in His love for us or possibly both.
As I thought on that this morning, I had an epiphany. My worry and fear are not indications of my lack of trust in God's character or His abilities. I know God is good. I know He is able to meet my every need. I've seen Who He is and what He's capable of. So, when I let fear get the best of me, it's not because I'm untrusting of God's character or ability. It's because I'm not trusting in His love. Think about it, if we believe that God truly loves us the way He does, we would know and understand that He would never do anything to hurt us. We would appreciate that everything He does for us and everything He allows to happen to us is for our good and will benefit us in the long run. Right?
But instead of trusting in His love and care, we wonder. We wonder why He would love us. We wonder what we've done to deserve such love. And because we feel so lacking and undeserving, we begin to doubt that God could really love us THAT much. And from there, we question everything that life brings. Why is this happening? Where is God during these hard times? Doesn't He care what's happening here? And of course, the classic, If God really loves me, why would He allow this to happen?
Did you catch that last one? If God really loves me. If God really cares. Do you see the doubt? Do you understand the confusion? We're not secure in our circumstances because we're not secure in God's love. If we were, according to the Bible passage above, we would have no worries or fears. Instead, we would be trusting in the One we love to treat us as one that He loves. Does that make sense?
For me, this is a breakthrough because it has opened my eyes to the area of my life that needs "fixing." I need to work on my love--both the giving and receiving. I need to spend more time with my Heavenly Father, for He is love. And I need to get it through my head (and even more so through my heart) that God loves me. Not because of who I am or what I've done but because of who He's making me to be. He sees the finished project, and my past, present and future are all safe in His hands. He loves me, and everything He does is proof of that love, even if it may not seem like it at the time.