Bible Verse: “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.” (1 John 4:18)

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1-21

The blood-curdling scream sliced the night and shot me out of bed. I ran into my son’s room and came face to face with the enemy – FEAR. Although it was just an all-too-common childhood dream, it sure seemed real at the time.

Fear has many masks, everyone of them cruel. There is fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of heights, fear of small places, fear of travel, fear of the future, fear of the past, fear of sickness or disease, fear of being alone, fear of being assaulted, fear of ghosts or spirits, fear of curses, fear of losing our job, fear of fear itself, fear of living, fear of dying.

Fear is not a stranger in our family. He used to live with us on a permanent basis. As a matter of fact he had “the rule of the roost.” I know that’s chicken coop language, but whenever fear is around, that exactly what one feel’s like – a big chicken. Fear has a way of tormenting those where he abides and that torment is absolutely debilitating.

Well, I’m glad to say that Mr. Phobia no longer lives with us. As a matter of fact we don’t even let him visit. Oh, he makes his regular house calls, but we refuse to let him in.

How do we do it? Is it mind over matter? The power of positive thinking? Denial? No. We tried those strategies and more. They work for awhile on junior size fears. But anyone who has ever fought the really big monster knows that you can’t kill the beast with those pea-shooting techniques.

Our giant-killing formula is found in a very small sentence in a very old book. The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment.”

God does not want us to be tormented and twisted by fear. When we discover that our Great and Mighty God, who created the entire Universe, actually loves and cares for us as individuals, Fear’s power begins to lose its voltage. When we realize that God came into our fear-filled world and, on our behalf, tasted the poison of our pain, persecution and death, Fear’s grip begins to loosen. When we recognize that Jesus Christ burst out of the tomb, conquering man’s enemies of death, Hell, Satan and sin, Fear begins to retreat. And when we discover that this death-conquering King now loves us, offers to live inside us and rule us with his peace, Fear has no place to come back to!

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Some may not agree with our discovery. Having lived on both sides of the fence, however, we can declare that Jesus’ internal peace sure beats fear’s internal torment.

— Dave Petrescue in Pastor Dave’s Reflections
© Brenda Petrescue, 2008. http://davepetrescue.com/ Used By Permission.


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