Happy Day Friends,
YOU ARE LOVED
I want you to know that I consider it a great privilege to have your reading eyes and seeking and hearing ears today. I don’t take this opportunity lightly. And I want you to know I come in deep love for you today. It is my prayer that when I write something for you, God would give me His love for you as I write and serve. You and I have likely not met in person, but God has flooded me with His love for you today. I want you to know that this means that HE is flooded with love for you. He loves you so very much. So very deeply. So very profoundly. I couldn’t be writing to you, who I haven’t met, with such love, if He didn’t love you. But He knows you. He knows every detail for your life and heart. And He loves you. I know this not only because the Bible tells us so, but because He’s putting His love for you in me at this moment.
This is our God. He loves us. He seeks us. He longs for us. And He’ll live in and through us. He wants to. He seeks to. All He needs to do so, is someone who has faith.
LETS TALK ABOUT FEAR
Today I want to talk to you about the subject of fear.
Life is or can be scary, no? I don’t know about you, but my life has always had something in it to worry about. Something to stress over. Something small or big to fear. Always. And lately, as I’ve made starting a ministry “official”, the fears have only increased. Exponentially. I have confided in my husband, “You know that show, ‘The Most Dangerous Jobs in the World’? I feel like I have the most dangerous one!” Because here’s the thing. I have a very real unseen enemy. And he hates what I’m doing and going to do. He hates it so much that he wants to destroy not only the work, but the worker. He hates me. He hates my children. He hates my husband. Not only does this enemy hate me, my work, and those around me, he has a certain amount of power with which he can hurt, ruin, or destroy me and those I love.
So I have spent some time these last couple months giving in to the ‘what ifs’. What if he hurts my kids? What if they become terminally ill? What if something bad happens to them at school? I don’t think I could go on if something happened to them! What if evil people, really evil people, who hate God, get wind of what I’m doing or saying? What if they attack my family or me? What if I get terminally ill? What if my husband gets terminally ill? I couldn’t go on!
I’m not making any of this up. I’m fully conscious that I’m entering unsafe territory. On many levels. Even beyond what could happen to my loved ones. These ‘what ifs’ I’ve shared with you are just the tip of the ice berg in what has crossed my mind these last months.
If these fears weren’t enough… I could talk about nightmares, and sleepless nights. How our very real enemy has bombarded me with horrific dream after horrific dream. Just this week alone, I woke in the middle of the night from bad dreams at least 5 nights. This week alone, I’ve spent my days exhausted, with headaches, and nauseous from lack of sleep. From hours spent facing the darkness while unconscious. While sleeping!
So when I bring up fear today, I want you to know that I’m not writing as one braver than others. I’m not writing as one of such high faith that I never get scared. I’m not writing as one not familiar with fear, and even deep and profound fear.
BUT THERE IS AN ANSWER FOR OUR FEAR
What I have been learning is that there is one answer to any fear, great or small. One answer that will sooth the soul, comfort the downcast, quench the unquenchable, water the dry, calm the inward storm, and completely overwhelm the terrified with peace. One answer, friends. And might I say from the get go, the answer isn’t that your worst fears don’t happen. We think that’s the answer, but that answer doesn’t have near the power to give us peace that this one does.
The answer to fear is simply and profoundly: the love of Jesus for me—individual me.
Hear me out.
No, hear Him out:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” (1 John 4:18)
Let me take a moment to define this “perfect love” which has the very real power to cast all fear out of you.
THE DEFINITION OF PERFECT LOVE
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.“ (1 John 4:10)
In other words…
Love = Jesus died on the cross, taking you with Him, and He is now risen in a glorified body, seated next to the Father in heaven, far above all enemies of darkness… with you in Him.
HE HAS YOU
Where Jesus is seated next to Father God today, is not only separate from all darkness, but above all “world forces of this darkness” (Eph. 6:12). This means that He has risen to a position of supreme authority over all things. Over all enemies. Why? Because He humbled Himself to enter the world of humans as a human (Phil 2:6-8), take what enslaves us to the cross—that is the sin in these human bodies—and bring them to death, breaking the chains they have around us.
This is significant for us because if you believe He did this for you, this also means you were still in Him when He rose in glory from the dead, as well as when He ascended to the right hand of God!
Still with Him.
LET’S CONSIDER THIS FURTHER
Consider how you existed in the loins of your father before you existed in your body now. Similarly, you exist as a new creature in Christ Jesus now. One glorious day, you’ll be changed in “the twinkling of an eye” into a new glorified body (1 Cor. 15:52), wholly apart from this dark world and all sin and fear. But for now, you are safe in Jesus’ glorified body, wholly apart from this dark world.
In this is love. In Him is love.
And in Him—in love—we, believers in Jesus, can all abide today.
Scroll back up and look at 1 John 4:10 again. In this is love… He sent His son (referring to the cross death for which He came, and by which He broke the chains the enemy held us with)…. to be the propitiation of our sins.
That big, strange word propitiation, is a translation of a Greek word which means “covering”. Right now, you—your soul and spirit—is covered with a human, sinful, cursed body. But because of Jesus, this broken human body covering us does’t have to rule us. Jesus came to substitutionally bring death to this old covering. And He came to be a new covering for us to live, by faith, from.
I want you to imagine yourself surrounded—enveloped—in glory. In Jesus’ own glory-vessel.
This is love. This is how we “abide” (dwell, live) in love.
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)
He has loved you! How? By breaking your chains, and giving you a new covering—a new life-source—in Him.
YOU CAN TRUST HIM!
Do you know that you can trust Him? Do you know that when you abide in Him, He’ll always fight for you. Do you know that you can trust Him to win every battle you trust Him to fight for you? Why? Because He’s already had victory over His, and our, enemy! And do you know, when you abide in Him—walk by faith that He is covering you and in you through the Holy Spirit—you are covered in perfect love?
This is our answer to fear, friends. The only thing that can quench it. We must abide in Jesus’ love! When you trust that He took you with Him to the cross, burial, resurrection, and now seated next to the Father in glory, you can trust that He did all of that because He loves you, and loves you still.
Picturing yourself in Him, who perfectly loves you, casts out fear.Suddenly you know He’ll fight your battle for you and through you. He’ll give you everything you need for every day. He’ll be your wisdom. He’ll be your power. He’ll be your strength. He’ll be your tender, compassionate advocate! He makes you safe. Here… in Him… fear dissolves.
THE PROMISE THAT IS SURE
See, Jesus is already in our “Promised Land” (Heaven), and He has promised you are too, because you’re in Him. The Bible says we have access to all that’s His now!
“…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph. 2:18)
“ This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered…” (Heb. 6:19-20a)
And look at what we have access to when we abide in His love (that is, all He’s done for us in love):
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father… that He would grant you… being rooted and grounded in love… to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:14, 16, 17-19)
When you, friend, know the love of Christ (his death and resurrection and life He’s give you in love), and when you abide by faith in it, His perfect love for you and which surrounds you will enter into you, filling you with all He is, and thus will
cast out all your fears.
ISN’T IT EXTRAVAGANT?
This can only happen in the Divine. It is a miraculous work of God. One which you can know and experience personally every day in every circumstance.
Notice, it doesn’t say “perfect peace will cast our fear”. No, Christ’s perfect love will. When you know He loves you so deeply and profoundly, has broken your chains because of that love, is surrounding you with His glory, His life, His power, His truth because of that love… fear dissolves.
Know what He says right after He says He’ll fill us up with the fullness of God when we abide in His love?
He says… “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)
Isn’t His love extravagant?
OUR ONLY REAL ANCHOR
This doesn’t mean difficulty will cease. No, our enemy is real and at work in this “valley of the shadow of death” earth we live on (Psalm 23:4). But we have hope! As an anchor for our souls (Heb. 6:19). He’ll work in you now. He’ll work through you now. He’s surrounding you now. He’ll fill you now. You have access to everything you could possibility need for today now. The clock is ticking. One day, this “valley of the shadow of death” Earth we live on will dissolve. On that day, all our faith will give way to sight. (Doesn’t that sound glorious?) And we’ll forever live on a new Earth under a new Heaven, with God forever (Rev. 21:1, 22:3). But for today, we trust He’s made available Heaven on Earth, now! Because of Jesus. We walk by faith, now. So we don’t have to live under the terrible authority of sin and fear, but so we can live under the wonderful reign of perfect love!
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
You are free in His love dear friends!
Yes, “perfect love casts out fear”! (1 John 4:18)
May you know His love, rest in His love, trust His love—all He’s done for you in HIs love—this very day! This very week. Day after day. Hour after hour. You can trust Him! Because, O! HOW He loves you!
All my love to you, in Christ Jesus,