First of all, it’s not any love; it’s God’s love, the only PERFECT LOVE. God’s love, which is His very nature, upends fear out of its lodging place in our lives when it takes over. Fear is usually rooted in the unknown, the uncertainties, the what-ifs. But God’s love is opposite of that. It’s a sure thing. It’s already been proven on the cross, and it hovers before us, a welcome banner heralding a holy hereafter. If we hang on to that love between Calvary and Heaven, then we have assurance, peace, and steadfast hope.
How does that unfold? Like this. Fear says, “What if that horrible, horrible event occurs? I just couldn’t handle it.” It sweeps together the bad things that have occurred in the past, even issues belonging to other people, to create a feeling of certainty that bad things will likely be repeated in our lives. It can be as small as thinking I’m apt to trip and fall in high heeled shoes or as serious as predicting a loved one’s potential demise. Have people fallen in high heels? Yes. Have loved ones experienced tragic ends? Yes. But do we know those things will be repeated in our lives? No. Fear, however, causes us to BELIEVE they likely will. Our faith is in the negative.
God’s perfect love works in a similar way, but it takes our faith the opposite direction. Has God done amazing, loving things for us in the past? Yes. Does He promise amazing, loving things for us in the future? Yes. Is it likely He has amazing things in store for us now? Yes. Our expectancy is based on God’s faithfulness, a faithfulness we can depend on because His love is perfect and without flaw. Furthermore, because He worked the cross into the greatest victory for our lives, we know He can work even the worst trouble into something that has powerful benefits for us.
But fear and love cannot co-exist. Our faith cannot travel two directions at once. It will move in tandem with whatever is occupying our heart. I cannot be consumed with the peaceful knowing that God is looking out for me with loving care if I am preoccupied with fearful possibilities. By the same token, fear cannot hold my expectation if I’m hoping in God. One choice leaves me hopeless; the other hopeful.
If I look to Jesus, Perfect Love Incarnate, then I have peace. I know He is near. I know He cares. I see even my crosses becoming my crowns. This casts fear out of my thoughts with a force is as powerful as a pummel from God’s large fist.
Tip/Tidbit: Is there a situation in which worry has become fearful torment? I've been there. Envision the glory of Heaven compared to the suffering of the cross. Now transfer that to your situation. With God in control, something good is on the horizon of your present pain.