Where do our fears come from? Not talking about fears of spiders or deep water or things like that :-). Deeper things. Fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of what is happening in the world? What are they based on?
I think some of our past experiences create a shell of protection, or at least the illusion of it. We lose a loved one and then are terrified to lose others close to us. We hear some news and want to protect ourselves and those close to us. We want to control the outcome. Not in a bad way of course, but in a good way. We don’t want to get hurt, we want the best for ourselves, and we can’t handle the unknown. Fear brings anxiety and worry. Fear makes us stressed out and sick. Fear is no bueno.
But if we look at Scripture, there’s plenty of verses about fear and how it can go away! When we accept God’s love, not just intellectually, but with our entire being, it changes something. We realize that deep down inside the real us isn’t worthy to be loved. The secret shameful thoughts that we dare not have anybody find out is part of who we are. Because we want to appear better than that- we present an image that we have it all together. Or at least we aren’t as bad as somebody else who we think is worse than us. However, if we quiet down and look honestly at ourselves, we are not that good. And because of that it’s hard for us to accept God’s love fully. Only when we admit all this, we can let go of our need for control. We realize it’s impossible to be good and to earn God’s love. We accept the love completely. It’s humbling, it’s amazing, it’s worth a huge sigh of relief. It’s not our righteousness; we get the righteousness of Christ.
Once we do that, we can begin to experience life different because we then extend this love to others. This love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling of happy emotions, it’s also an impossible list! We can’t do this kind of love by our own efforts! It takes supernatural powers to love the way God loves! And only as we continue to grow and develop in this love, will fear begin to fade away. It might come and go but we will have power to battle it because God did not give us a spirit of fear.
When we live in the God type of love, we trust, hope, and persevere. Despite the people or situations we come across, we demonstrate patience and kindness. The love chapter in Corinthians talks about what love is and isn’t. When I apply it to myself I can just change the word love to my name to check how I’m doing. Example: Galina doesn’t envy or boast. She is not puffed up and doesn’t dishonor others. She is not self-seeking and is not easily angered. Galina is kind and patient and joyfully celebrates honesty.
When I’m living like that, it means I’m at the center of being filled with God’s love and fear does not affect me. When I drift away, lo and behold the fear arrows start attacking.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”
1 John 4:18 AMP
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
1 John 4:17-18 MSG
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
I John 4:7-8 NKJV
Might be an abstract concept overall but I’ll be giving it more thought…