Love that has been perfected casts out all fear.
That is to say, all fear except the fear of God!
The fear of God is a fear that involves love. An element in fearing God is the fear that we will displease Him. To have Him look upon us with dismay because of our faithlessness, our succumbing to temptation, our willful stubbornness, is in one sense to fear God.
We also fear His Fatherly discipline and chastisement, as I said in our previous blog. We fear His words of rebuke. We fear His threats to lose our rewards. We fear God because we want to love Him, and we want Him to love us.
So, think of this—all other fears mean a lack of the fear of God. We fear men because we don’t fear God enough—otherwise, we’d follow Him rather than giving in to men. We fear death because we do not have enough of a love and desire to depart and be with Christ. We fear ostracism because we fear losing the approval of others more than we fear losing the favor of God. Turn all of these things around and you can see what the love of God is. And how it casts out all other fears.
So, if we are to fear God, we need to perfect our love for Him and His Son Jesus Christ. Then other fears will not trouble us. Why? Because we will know that we are in the good graces of God Himself—what else could count as much?
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