Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Now why does Peter say, “Rejoice…that you participate in the sufferings of Christ?” Because if you share in his sufferings, you will also share in his glory (4:13). Christ was despised and rejected in this world, but now...
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18
We know that “perfect love casts out fear,” but what is the kind of fear that love casts out?
1. Love casts out the fear that keeps you hiding from God.
When Adam sinned, he hid from God. He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid…and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:10). The fear that kept Adam from God was better than not fearing God at all. Far better that he hides from God than that he walks about in the garden as if nothing were wrong. At least he knows his sin is a problem! It is better to have a sense of shame over an evil you have done than to be shameless. But when God comes into the garden, his love overwhelms this fear as he reaches out to Adam in grace.
2. Love casts out the fear that keeps you from serving God.
We see this in the parable of the talents (see Mat. 25:14-30). The lazy servant dug a hole and hid his master’s money in the ground, and when the master came back, the servant said, “I knew you to be a hard man… so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground” (25:24-25). Better to bury the money than spend it on riotous living like the prodigal son. But when you know that your master loves you, you can do much better than burying his talent in the ground.
What fears are keeping you from fully enjoying and serving God? Consider how God’s love can remove those fears.