I begin with a verse found in Proverbs 3:25 which says, “Do not be afraid of the sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes…” Fear can be defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. Fear can stop you dead in your tracks. When Saul and all Israel saw and heard Goliath’s challenge, “they were dismayed and greatly afraid” (1st Samuel 17:11). In spite of who they were and who was on their side (God), fear paralyzed them…causing them to feel defeated. Have you, as a follower of Christ, ever felt defeated in your walk with Christ?
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we
may have boldness in the day of judgment…
1st John 4:17
How has love been perfected? One person writes, suggesting that love is perfected “when we have full faith in the love of God.” For the Christian who has come to know the love of God found in Christ Jesus and understands His redemptive work to rescue sinners from death, they should not fear judgment. If there has ever been a time where defining a word is critical, this is one. Boldness, here means free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage. “Hold on,” you say, “I still struggle with sin. How can I be so certain?” 1st John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Our confidence is not in my ability to walk perfectly, to love perfectly; but rather, I place my faith in His perfect and sufficient redemptive work.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear
involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1st John 4:18
Fears what? Judgment! Think about it for a moment. If I say Jesus can save, yet wonder whether I will make it to heaven at judgment, where is my hope? Listen to 1st John 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” CONFIDENCE!!! If you are in Christ Jesus and although there is need for Christian maturity, your confidence is in Him, not you. There is so much more to say, so let me leave you with what I began with, the very next verse found in Proverbs 3:26, which says, “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” That is what God’s love can do for us all.