Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
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Greetings in His name, and God bless you and welcome to Meditation Moments.
We‘re reading from 2 Kings in the sixth chapter, that wonderful story where they were camped about the city of Dothan, and you’ll remember that the crowd was so great, the army of the enemy, and Elisha was there with his servant. The servant couldn’t see anything but the horses and the chariots and the enemy, but Elisha saw that God was with them.
God’s Word says, “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15–17).
Isn’t it wonderful when the eyes are opened to see God working, the eyes are opened to see that the Lord is with us! When we get through all the fear and mistrust and doubts, and we see the face of the Lord, we know that greater is the power that is with us than all the enemies of fear and distrust that are against us.
We’re living in a terrible day of fear! We are afraid what Russia will do with its growing military and scientific superiority we might face, superior in many ways. We’re afraid of a depression. We’re afraid of the tensions in some remote sections of the world, that they’ll ignite a global war. White men fear the rising tide of color, and Asiatics are afraid of Western domination. Americans are afraid of communism. Russians are afraid of America, and everybody’s afraid of atomic destruction.
In the meantime, we all have our individual fears—our own little set of private fears. Perhaps yours are not like someone else’s, but fear is so dominant. Some people have more than others, but everybody knows what it is to be afraid.
Sometime over a hundred year ago, a Methodist minister named William Taylor arrived in San Francisco. He was caught up in the midst of the gold rush, and it was a bustling center of paganism. There was no church in which William Taylor could preach, and no congregation waiting to hear him. But there were so many people in the city and such a great need, so he stood on a barrel on a busy corner one Sunday morning and he shouted, “I have good news!” And the people said, “What’s the good news?” He said, “I have good news for you this morning,” and he brought them the good news of the Gospel.
Well, I have good news on this meditation, the news that Jesus Christ came into the world to release us from our fears. And you’ll remember, one of the very first messages from the angel was, “Fear not. Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10). That’s the formula that the Lord gave.
He told His disciples that they were to be unafraid (John 14:27b), and then He added, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). There is a secret of getting rid of fear.
Love is a greater emotion than fear, and it can cast out fear. God’s Word says so. God’s Word says “perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18a). Perfect love casts out all fear. Now God’s Word says, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). It’s not necessary if we trust in the God who promises to see us through to have any fears whatsoever.
They used to say of the Puritans that they feared God, so they feared nothing else. We, however, have lost our fear of God and are afraid of everything, it seems to me. He who has a God whose laws he respects and whose will he seeks to do has such a mighty sense of security. It’s only as you’re in close touch with God, and have perfect love for the Lord Jesus Christ, that all the fear is cast out, because fear is faithlessness.
A man who is afraid believes he has no protection, no security. He’s aware of no strength beyond his own, so when he’s confronted with a threat that appears greater than he can handle with his own resources, he has no recourse but fear. So the heart doesn’t have room to embrace both fear and trust at the same time. Well, no heart can do that. When one goes in, the other goes out!
Years ago, Dr. Thomas Chalmers, a famous Scottish preacher, was riding in the seat beside a stage-driver when he noticed one of the horses became a little nervous. The stage-driver flicked his leg with the whip and the horse settled down, and he said, “Why did you do that?” And he said, “Well, yonder’s a white stone, and every time we passes it, the horse shies. I touch him with the whip to divert his attention.” That set Dr. Chalmers to thinking, and he went home and wrote that wonderful book that became so world-famous, The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.
When you have the new affection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that wonderful love come into your heart for Him, you live in His Word and love it, and your love for Him personally grows so great. There’s nothing more stimulating, more real that swings into the center of our attention than the love of God, and it can just drive out all other concerns and all the fears.
I’m not belittling fear and pretending it’s a simple thing just to trust in God and not be afraid. It’s not simple, but I do know from experience that perfect love will cast out fear. I’m not willing to settle for an easy faith, or some superficial answers to this. I know you have to live in the Word of God; I know you have to claim the promises. I know that you have to lay hold of those promises and you have to practice the presence of God continually.
But I do know that perfect love for the Lord Jesus Christ will leave no room for fear, because you’re not trusting your own strength, you’re not trusting your own protection. You’re not trusting anything of the natural, the things that you can lay hold of just in the material and the human and natural. You’re trusting the power beyond your own, and therefore you have the perfect love that casts out all fear.
Wonderful verses of scripture along this line, so many of them! God’s Word speaks of this deliverance from fear, this overcoming power of the Lord Jesus Christ, this love of God and love of His Word, this wonderful love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, won’t you go to Him, and won’t you just press through everything until you see His face?
He says, “Seek My face.” Seek His face and tell Him of your love for Him, and He will reveal His love to you, and fear will be gone! God bless you.