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Perfect Love Casts Out Fear – Yes, But How?

perfect love casts out fear

It sounds so beautiful, so calm, so reassuring: Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

That is, until we realize that “casting out fear” is dangerous business. It’s certainly true that perfect love casts out fear, but part of that process is surfacing the fear hidden in us. God loves us so much he wants us to face our fears, and he will always stand with us.

When fear finds its way to the surface, we find ourselves shouting at Jesus, “We’re perishing! Don’t you care?” Fear urges Jesus, “Don’t stop for that woman, hurry along to my daughter—she’s dying!” Fear doesn’t want talk about lilies of the field or birds of the air; fear wants clothing, food, safety, or better yet: cold hard cash. Fear speaks with an urgent voice, and only perfect love casts out fear.

Still other times fear walks a few steps behind, whispering “Why are we going to Jerusalem? We will die.” Fear directs our eyes to the crowds and the soldiers, the wind and the waves, the ledger and the purse, the hospital and the grave. Fear has an insidious tone of voice; the feel of goose bumps down the arm; the single idea that triggers a thousand racing thoughts; even the smells of deep memories.