Good Morning Church,
The Bible mentions two kinds of fear – the first one is fear of the Lord. This fear is the reverential awe of God – of His power and glory. It is also a proper respect of His Holiness and His wrath. In other words, it is this total acknowledgement of all that God is and our reverent submission to Him in love.
The second kind of fear is a harmful fear. This is called the “spirit of fear” as Paul tells Timothy, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). This spirit of fear stands in direct opposition to what the Holy Spirit intends to do in and through us: The Holy Spirit reveals God’s power, God’s love and helps us to live Godly lives. On the other hand, the spirit of fear comes from our own spirit which is influenced by life in a broken world. This fear is harmful and keeps us locked out of the freedom of the abundant life in Christ Jesus. Dave Ramsey explained an acronym for this fear: F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
Trusting God is this refusal to give in to this fear. It is turning to God even in the darkest times. As Job said when he was experiencing some of the most difficult trials, “though he slays me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). The only thing that can drive out fear in our lives is our radical trust in God and leaning on His unfailing love for us. That is what John tells us in 1 John 4:16, “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. He adds on to this by saying in verse 18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
Perfect love drives out fear. John may be referring to our fear of the final judgement, but it also reveals the truth that God’s love does not wax and wane like human love; it is not a fickle or an emotional high or low. God’s love was demonstrated on the cross. That nobody will be able to snatch us out of his hands (John 10:29). That nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:38-39). An understanding of this love should make us fearless and bold, to live in the abundance of God’s communion!