No Fear in Love

Written on 03/26/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: 1 John 4:17-18

17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also we are in this world. 18 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 His love.

In the beginning of the devotion, John starts with referencing the previous verses that talk about God’s perfect, selfless love. This is the love he states is perfected with us because of what Jesus has done for us. We know this because we are able to have confidence that when we stand before the Lord at the end of our lives, we will know a love like no other when we are reunited with our Savior. We know His goodness now, but we will come to know it in a whole new way when we stand before Him. John even continues to say that we can have this confidence because “as He is so also we are in this world”. Jesus is with us in the world. He has promised to walk every single step with us as we navigate living in a broken world. Because we know Him intimately in our day to day lives, we can be confident in the hope that we know we have in Him at the end of our time.

In my opinion, the next verse we have is one of the most life giving, hopeful, beautiful things I cling to. It is both a promise, and a profound Truth. There is no fear in love, perfect love casts our fear. While this does reveal more about the nature of love to us, sometimes this verse is used without the context surrounding it, just as a hopeful quote. This is more than that. The context is that we are talking about judgment day. The verse continues that fear has to do with punishment. We love the Lord and have confidence in our eternal future with Him because we know Him, we love Him, and we know that we will experience the ultimate joy when we are united with Him forever. We do not believe because we are fearful of hell (although I am dang scared of it! It’s healthy to have a little fear there!). Our motivation for choosing Jesus isn’t to avoid punishment for our sins and just because we think Heaven sounds better than hell. We choose Jesus because of the perfected, complete love we have in Him. We choose Him because He selflessly chose to love and sacrifice Himself for us first. He choose to be crucified by our sins when we had absolutely nothing to offer Him. When we understand this, our only response can be to set our eyes on Him and our ultimate hope, not our fear in the what if. Our response is an overflow of His love. What a joy it is to know Him and imagine the day we get to set our eyes upon His face.

Jesus, what a profound reminder You have for us today. Your perfect love casts out fear. Your love creates my longing to know you more. God, we all have our days where we question things and might not feel as confident as John states in this verse. Remind us of the heart of your Gospel today. Remind us that because of Your ultimate love for us, You hold onto us as we hold onto You. Help me to feel the confidence You promise that I can have because of my relationship with You. Lord thank you for the promise that I will have joy on judgment day as I see your face. Thank you for not giving up on me and for bridging the gap with Your son so that I might know You. We love you Lord, amen.

Guest Author: Becca Artymenko