There is so much calamity going on in the world that it is difficult to not be fearful. But, God has a promise for us and we’re going to talk about fear versus love.
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Watch the video of this message at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/fear-vs-love/
Have you been watching the news or hearing about all the unrest in the world? We are all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are tremendous rains in eastern Africa causing the worst flooding in more than 50 years. The flooding and the COVID-19 lockdowns have caused people to be without food. Here in America, there is rioting in major cities over police brutality and violence. In China, more and more churches are being sought out and destroyed with pastors being thrown in jail, or worse, disappearing. All of this can cause us to become very fearful.
Fear wells up in us when we perceive threat or harm, whether the threat or harm is real or imaginary. Fear is a very real thing, and there is much of it in the world today, even within the Church.
1 Peter 5:8 says:
1 Peter 5:8
(8) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
This is where our fear comes from. It comes from worrying about the enemy of our soul, Satan, moving about the earth looking for prey. He does this because he knows he can paralyze us with fear. He knows we are more easily overcome when we are gripped with fear and not thinking correctly.
Animals that are being hunted in the wild are interesting. When they feel the presence of a predator or something they do not understand, they often freeze, hoping they will not be seen. We witnessed one of our dogs doing this just the other day. There was a terrible thunderstorm over our home and lightning was striking all around. The thunder was causing our house to shake. One of our dogs would freeze each time he heard or felt the thunder. He would not move a single muscle until the thunder had passed. He was like a statue.
We often do the same thing when we are afraid. We stop doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re hoping the threat will pass by without noticing us. That is just what the devil wants. He wants to stop you from doing what God has created you for and equipped you to do.
You see, fear is what puts doubt in our minds. Doubt is another tool the devil uses to slow us down and keep us from doing what God has created us for and equipped us to do. This fear and doubt are combined to freeze us. This is not what God ever intended for us. This is not what God has for us.
When we start to follow Jesus we start to learn his ways. When we finally say yes to Jesus and become a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We read Jesus’ words in John 14:26-27.
(26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
As we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior he sends the Holy Spirit to guide and equip us. Part of that guidance and equipping is his presence. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the gift we have received through Jesus. He helps us to put aside the fear that wells up in our heart. We can put our trust fully in him. Jesus tells us to not let our hearts be troubled and to not be afraid.
Many people know or have heard the verse in the book of Isaiah that says, “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” We can be sure of that by reading the entire verse along with the verse before it. God shared these words with the prophet of Isaiah to share with all of the exiles. Let’s read Isaiah 54:16-17.
(16) “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; (17) no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.
The Lord knows that no weapon formed us can prosper because he created everything, and he created us to endure anything the devil can throw at us. We need to stand on this promise. We need to declare it over our lives and our families every day.
Fear comes from the devil. It creates doubt and freezes us from what we are supposed to do.
Love comes from God. We are able to called sons and daughters of God because of his love. Look at John 3:16-17.
(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God does not want to see any of us lost. He sent his Son, Jesus, to redeem us from the grips of the devil and our own sin. He is our deliverer and he delivers in love.
Love comes from God and is displayed by God. God is love. God is perfect love. Look at what 1 John 4:12-19 says about God’s love, our love, and fear.
1 John 4:12-19
(12) No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (13) This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. (14) And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (15) If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. (16) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (17) This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. (18) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (19) We love because he first loved us.
Perfect love drives out fear. God drives out fear. When we are in a right relationship with God, we have nothing to fear and we can face any calamity, storm, hunger, pestilence, or trial with the courage we have in the Lord. No weapon formed against you will prosper. That is a promise from God to all the saints for eternity.
Love casts out fear and doubt. God’s perfect love fills our heart with more love and compassion than we can fathom and then we are to share that love and have compassion on others.
Friends, fear not, because the Lord is with you every moment of every day.