Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
Pray: Ask the Lord to open your eyes, that you may behold wondrous things in His word.
Read: 1 John 4:9 - 19 (ESV)
“ In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because he first loved us.”
John wrote these words in the context of rehearsing the Christian’s assurance of complete deliverance from the judgement of God for sin. Christ has done everything necessary to rescue us, by his life, death, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts and gives us a unique sense of the Father’s love for us. This is how we know the Father loves us. He doesn’t just say loving things. He does loving things. As Paul said, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”
His love for us, demonstrated in the giving of His Son, is what purges fear from our hearts. And not only fear of final judgment for sin, but fear of fearful things in this life. There are many fearful things in a fallen world. We fight the temptation to be paralyzed with fear by rehearsing the glorious truths of God’s love. We remind one another of all the ways God has shown his love for us, His commitment to work all things for our good, and the sure hope of life eternal with Him. We can face the uncertainties of tomorrow with confidence because we know the One for whom nothing is unknown or uncertain, and we belong to Him.
What is your favorite passage of scripture that speaks of God’s love?
How are you tempted to doubt God’s love and be controlled by fear?
What are practical ways you can rehearse God’s love and “cast out fear” in this season?
Pray: Thank God for proving His love for us in Christ. Praise Him for manifestations of His love and goodness in this trying season. Confess ways you have given into ungodly fear. Ask God to heal those who are sick, protect those who are at risk, and for mitigation efforts to be effective.