No fear

In the midst of the uncertainty of our changing times, the Verse of the Day for October 2, 2018 touches upon a growing concern across the globe: fear.

Fear, a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, touches everyone, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can cripple and impact our daily lives in negative ways. Unbridled fear, as a toxic emotion, limits and inhibits believers. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind one of the chapters of my  new book. When diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, I did not see “a death sentence,” but I saw a “life sentence” that transformed my thinking. In Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs. I share the holistic strategy God inspired me to use to overcome this adversity. A vital part of the battle plan deals with confronting “the fear factor.” Here is an excerpt:

Regarding the toxic emotions of life,  we must learn to counteract their harmful effects with the proper remedy. In terms of responding to fear, we find that love is the perfect antidote.

The love of God  is the highest form of love, “a love which is more intimate than friend, or kin or wife;” This close-knit love is known as agape, a term used exclusively in the New Testament, to reveal the uniqueness of God’s love.

With love, as with any other emotion, there must be a demonstration or manifestation whereby one knows the reality of the emotion in question. We speak of the love of God in manifestation which is so clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The book of I John also reveals the perfect connection between fear and love, particularly in 1 John 2:5 (NKJV).

But whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this know that we are in Him.

In those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is perfected or made perfect or complete, wanting nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be perfected is to be brought to a full end.

The love of God is perfected or made complete or full in us when we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of perfect love. Verse 18 provides the basis for love being the perfect antidote to fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

When an individual is perfected in love and walks in or demonstrates that love, there is no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this self-imposed prison from which Christ came to set the captives free. Even in distressful and disturbing situations where we do not clearly understand what is transpiring in our lives health-wise and otherwise, we must always remember this:

There is No Fear in Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
—I John 4:18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear
And abounds to transform any adverse atmosphere.
We are perfected and made whole when we walk in love,
A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.
Such love is pure and never repels but draws us near.

This balm of love heals all wounds, no matter how severe
With words of compassion each soul on earth longs to hear;
Love conquers any disaster and rises above.
There is no fear in love.

We follow in Christ’s steps, knowing our mandate is clear.
Assured of triumph, there is never a need to fear.
We press toward the mark, the prize we seek to lay hold of
To ascend in victory on wings of a gentle dove.
We walk forth as bold pioneers on a love frontier:
There is no fear in love

Steffany Gretzinger offers this beautiful expression of our heart’s desire:

Embracing Your Life Sentence is designed to inform and inspire. Find out more about it at https://www.lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

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