There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. -1John 4:18 AMP
I had a thought recently, when I was reading this verse. I began to think if God is love, He is the Perfect Love, and His Holy Spirit resides in us, therefore God; Perfect Love is already inside us, therefore there should be nothing we are to fear.
Love and fear can not coexist in Perfect Love.
So why then do I sometimes let fear take over me? Have I let something occupy more of my Perfect Love spot that is allowing fear to creep in?
As I meditated on this Promise it began to bring me a new found courage and boldness and encouraged not only myself but I also used it to encourage several friends, as well as, I prayed it over a new friend just this week.
Here is Barnes’ Commentary Notes on 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love – Love is not an affection which produces fear. In the love which we have for a parent, a child, a friend, there is no fear. If a man had perfect love to God, he would have no fear of anything – for what would he have to dread? He would have no fear of death, for he would have nothing to dread beyond the grave. It is guilt that makes people fear what is to come; but he whose sins are pardoned, and whose heart is filled with the love of God, has nothing to dread in this world or the world to come. The angels in heaven, who have always loved God and one another, have no fear, for they have nothing to dread in the future; the redeemed in heaven, rescued from all danger, and filled with the love of God, have nothing to dread; and as far as that same loves operates on earth, it delivers the soul now from all apprehension of what is to come.
But perfect love casteth out fear – That is, love that is complete, or that is allowed to exert its proper influence on the soul. As far as it exists, its tendency is to deliver the mind from alarms. If it should exist in any soul in an absolutely perfect state, that soul would be entirely free from all dread in regard to the future.
Because fear hath torment – It is a painful and distressing emotion. Thus men suffer from the fear of poverty, of losses, of bereavement, of sickness, of death, and of future woe. From all these distressing apprehensions, that love of God which furnishes an evidence of true piety delivers us.
What are your thoughts on this verse? How can we make sure we always have Perfect Love residing in us to cast out fear?
~XXOO Michelle Bollom