I remember when I fell in love with the woman who became my wife. We were in college, we had been getting to know each other for a while, and then we started dating. I knew I was in love when I realized I wasn’t afraid to be myself in front of her anymore. I could share my deepest thoughts with her about my career, my future goals, my plans, my faith, and my family. Although sharing those things made me vulnerable, I knew that she wouldn’t try to use any of that against me. I wasn’t afraid that she would run away or leave when I was sad or angry or frustrated or goofy. Being loved and being in love took away my fears.
Now, if being in love with my wife made my fear go away, how much more should knowing the love of God take my fear away! “God is love,” says the apostle John in our Bible reading for today, and “there is no fear in love.”
As we grow more and more in our relationship with God, he drives out the fear in our lives. And while our fear may never go away completely until we are with God in heaven, his love can take away our fear even in the darkest valleys we might pass through (Psalm 23:4).
The next time you are afraid, take your fear to God. Let his love wash over you. Ask him to take your fear away and to replace it with his perfect love.
Loving God, we experience fear in this world. Take away our fear and replace it with your perfect love, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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