Fear Not Blog Graphic

 

So, this is our final post in this series on fear. If you are just joining in, you can read Part 1; Part 2 and Part 3 to catch up. To wrap up this series, I want to share what I believe is the key to defeating fear’s stranglehold in our lives: God’s love. I know, it sounds so cliche doesn’t it? If you’ve gone to church as long as I have (which is roughly over four decades), you’ve heard, “God loves you,” about a bazillion times, and yet, if we truly got this concept, if we truly knew down to the marrow of our bones that God – the God of the universe that put the stars in place and filled in the seas and sculpted the mountains – that same God LOVED us, I believe it has the capacity to completely change our lives – and free us from the chains of fear.

Love casts out fear (1)

That phrase “made perfect,” means “to be made complete.” We can’t be made complete until we truly know and understand God’s love for us. It’s in understanding the full depth and breadth of Christ’s love for us that allows us to live full and complete – without being captive to fear. That phrase “cast out” is the Greek word balio, and it means, “to throw out or let go of something, not caring where it falls.”

When I was a kid, I lost quite a few things because I’d get so focused on something else, I wouldn’t even remember I was actually holding anything. I remember I had bought my mom a birthday gift – some make up. I was walking around the mall, totally absorbed in checking out various stores. When I met up with my parents, I realized that the bag with the makeup I had bought was gone. I had been so taken up with other things, I didn’t even realize I had dropped it somewhere along the way. I lost countless winter hats that way too.

Putting aside the fact that I was sort of an airhead when I was a kid, I picture this verse the same way. Those fears you and I clutch so tightly will fall from our hands, unnoticed, when we become totally enthralled in the reality of God’s love for us.

There is another verse in Ephesians that I love, too.

Ephesians 3-17

 

That word “know” is the Greek word, “yada” which denotes a deep, intimate knowing. It’s sometimes used in the Bible indicate sex between a husband and wife – for instance, “And Adam knew his wife.” It means more than a surface knowing. You’ll notice that the result of truly understanding and “getting” God’s love for us means we are filled up with God. When you are filled up with God, it’s much harder to also be filled up with fears.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I lost my brother last summer to suicide. (you can read his eulogy HERE and my thoughts on the mental illness that plagued him HERE). It was something that we feared would happen for a long time. My mom especially feared this outcome. I don’t know – sometimes, I think God granted her a special grace to prepare her for what no parent should ever have to face.

His death has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through. I have lost all my grandparents and a few friends over the years, and while those losses certainly hurt, there is a different kind of pain when someone is taken from you in this way.

But even though it has been hard and excruciatingly painful (I still have random moments of tears, especially as we approach my oldest son’s graduation), there has been beauty in it too.

You may wonder how in the world that can be, but I experienced – first hand – the God of the universe bending low to stitch up my torn up heart and to heal that gaping wound. Yes, it left a scar and sometimes that scar hurts and reminds me it is there, but it’s hard to express the tenderness and love I felt during those awful first few months.

I have this wicker love seat out on my back porch and I’d head out there with my Bible. And God just ministered to me. I felt completely surrounded by his love. And knowing and experiencing that tender love, I have found a lot of the things I used to be afraid of don’t really hold me anymore because I KNOW that even if the worst happens, God will walk through it with me every single step.

And God has brought good things out of the awful, too, which continues to blow me away. I taught a workshop on fear at teen conference this past Saturday, and during the alter call, I was able to share my story of God’s faithfulness in walking me through the darkest of times to encourage and help a young girl who was struggling. How like God to make the ashes of grief into something beautiful like comfort for someone else.

I’m not saying I’ll never struggle with fear again – in fact, last week I realized that I was afraid to teach my workshop on fear (that’s irony for you!), but all I have to do is remember, and I feel those choking chains of fear loosen and fall away, unnoticed, as I turn my complete focus on God’s love.

How about you? Do you really know that God loves you – not the world – but you? Do you feel that you have somehow stepped outside God’s love or you are somehow unlovable because of something in your past or a sin that plagues you? I would challenge you to go to Romans 8:31-39 and write it out, substituting your name for every us, we, and you. I’d love to hear about ways God’s love has freed you from your fears!

Blessings, Rosanne

p.s. Don’t forget to download your free fear worksheet HERE!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.