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 4:16-18, NIV)
In breaking down some of the terms and phrases, and personalizing them I note that:
- Fear = I worry a lot, and depending on the nature of my worries, real or imagined, I can sink quickly into feeling apprehensive and fearful. Most of the time, my fear is unwarranted, in that what I dread is not likely to ever happen; if the threat is real — I need to remember that I should seek help to deal with it anyway because undue worry is never productive for me
- Perfect love = the exact amount of profound, tender, and passionate affection that comes from the Lord and His full understanding and acceptance of me
- Punishment = suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution
Part of the description of perfect love found in 1 Corinthians is : [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8, NIV)
Coupling the description found in 1 Corinthians with portions of today’s truth, causes me to conclude that:
The one who fears has failed to understand the power of perfect love — since, fear has to do with punishment, and there is no punishment in perfect love since it NEVER FAILS, but protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.
My Challenge and Encouragement
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalms 139:23, NIV)
So today, my significant other goes for yet another biopsy. And I, have yet another phone interview in search of employment as the clock ticks down to October 31, 2013 when my current assignment ends. We are both anxious and snappish. Although, I must say he takes things in stride far better than I do.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26, NIV)
In addressing the fears related to the current situation — I am struggling to accept that my loss and suffering are not occurring as punishment or retribution, but as a means of moving us forward somehow.
There is tremendous promise in today’s truth — Perfect love drives out fear!!
I am further drawn to the following truths in substantiation: Perfect love provides a place of refuge in times of trial and additional support so that I don’t keep taking the wrong turns and “striking my foot against a stone.”
How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among [women] find refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalms 36:7, NIV)
If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge– then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalms 91:9-12)
My Reflections and Prayer
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12, NIV)
Lord, when I am feeling anxious, let me seek refuge in the shadow of your wings. For though my heart may fail, Your love for me never does. I trust in Your love which is perfect and unfailing to drive out my fears and keep me and mine from harm. You are my portion – You protect me, You strengthen and calm my heart and my special patrons guard me in all my ways. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN