365. Three hundred and sixty-five times Scripture says, “Do not be afraid.” God knew we would be inclined to be afraid. He gave us 365 reminders–one for every day of the year–to trust Him. What is the opposite of fear? The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear,” I John 4:18.
How does that work?
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls,” 1 Peter 1:6-9 (bold italics mine).
Peter tells us the basis of our un-fearfulness is a genuine faith in Jesus, the One we love. Because our relationship with God is based in love, we know He holds us–even in the grief of various trials. We do not fear our God, we love and reverence Him and the confidence that He first loved us (1 John 4:19) gives us the courage to not be afraid. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). You probably just thought–“Plenty of people. My neighbor down the street who doesn’t like my dog; the guy who is gunning for my job; the boss who makes my life unbearable at work; the family members who make get togethers difficult–the list goes on and on. But, those people can not have the victory over us. We must walk in the “praise, honor and glory” of Jesus Christ, and by doing so, we are assured that fear cannot keep a grip on us.
So, what do we do with our fear? God tells us to cast it His way, 1 Peter 5:7; to pray and give it to Him–thanking Him for already taking care of it, Philippians 4:6; and to believe His promise in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Cast, pray, believe. To quote an old song, “Just give it away,” just make sure you give it in the right direction.
Live in the confidence that God loves you, that you love Him, He is for you and you are all in with Him. This is the call to the fearless life.
Father, Abba, thank You for the promise of power, love and a sound mind to defeat fear. Every victory comes from You and every praise belongs to You. Help us to love You today and trust You as Your will is done, and in following You, we can be fearless. In Jesus’ name, Amen.