It grips you like nothing else can grip you, holding you down, pulling you back, restraining you. It shames you, telling you how you can’t do it, how you’re going to mess up.
Fear’s claws grips the heart. It prevents you from doing things that you should be doing. Fear is a feeling of something terrible may happen: in a situation, in a circumstance, with a friendship, with the government, with your job or your home.
1 John 4:18-19: 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. (ESV)
We often fear things because we don’t want to deal with them. In 1 John, John in chapter four discusses the judgement of God and how we have confidence for that day, because our confidence is that we know God and He abides in us as Christians.
As 1 John 4:18 demonstrates, fear has to do with something that is going to happen to us. Punishment will happen in the future. Judgement from God is going to happen to all of us. If you’re consumed with the judgement of God then you are missing the love of God. If you fear His judgment, then you don’t know His love.
But what about all other circumstances in life? What about our other fears? I believe the principle still applies. Fear is being consumed with something that may happen and dreading it. We might fear speaking in front of people, probably because we fear what others think and believe that they may judge us (which they will). We might fear the market crashing and loosing our jobs, probably because it can happen and we don’t know how we’ll care for our families. We might fear war, or people breaking into our homes, or spiders, or messing up.
What fear comes down to is focusing on what may happen or can happen or will happen, and getting a sense of helplessness or hopelessness. Yet, as Christians, we should know about the judgement of God and also not fear it because the judgement has already happened for us on the Cross. Jesus Christ has taken our judgment. We know God’s love and we meditate and focus upon His love and His goodness and His acts.
Fear prevents us from doing things we should or ought to do because we don’t want to be in a situation or circumstance that we feel we can’t handle.
As Christians, we need to focus upon God’s love and what He has done and what He tells us to do, and this perfect love will cast out our fear.