Face Your Fears

"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"



1 John 4:18





Watching how people respond to fear this past year has been heartbreaking for me as a pastor. I have witnessed first hand what deep seated fear has done to destroy so many lives. From alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness, physical abuse in its various forms to suicide, fear is destroying peoples lives every bit as much if not more than the Covid-19 virus itself. I have sat many days and thought and prayed for people I know and countless people I don’t regarding the unhealthy ways people are coping with their fears. The good news today is there is hope!



I was discussing with my wife just last night the problem fear poses and God’s remedy for us regarding unhealthy fear. I was explaining to her that, “Whatever you fear controls you.” Just think about it for a moment, whatever you fear controls you. It could be your fear of heights that keeps you from enjoying the view atop a building like the Empire State Building. Or your fear of bugs or animals that keeps you from experiencing an outdoor camping trip. Sadly, everything that can be seen or even unseen is feared by someone. This has never been more evident to me than in watching how so many people have responded to the Covid pandemic. As finite beings time is a very precious commodity as once its gone, there is no getting it back. For many, this last year was lived in complete isolation out of fear of contracting a virus that we cannot see. That fear has controlled their every move. It has controlled how they thought, what they have done and with whom they do life with. Most people will admit they have not enjoyed the freedoms they once did. Why, because of the simple fact, what you fear controls you.



Thats why the apostle John writes about the power of love, God’s love. His love is so powerful in fact that not even death can quench it. Love is the most powerful force in the universe as John points out, ‘God is love”. Growing in the knowledge of God’s love is what helps us both face and conquer our fears, fears that seek to control and ultimately destroy us. As you and I grow in the knowledge of Gods love we find peace and comfort in the realization that God is in control even when things, even things like Covid-19 make life appear to be out of control. When you and I grow in the knowledge of God’s love we begin to grasp that nothing can separate us from Him and that wherever we are God is. Even in the midst of life’s storms.



John reminds us that there is no fear in love for perfect love vanquishes fear. Why would we be afraid to die if we truly believed we would be in paradise as soon as we closed our eyes? The truth is we are controlled by what we fear. John tells us in 1 John 4 the issue is we still fear is judgment. If we are completely honest, we are afraid to die because we aren’t 100% convinced that when we close our eyes we will in fact be in Paradise and so our choices in life are made trying to do anything but die. So, in reality when we are not controlled by love we are controlled by death as death is our greatest fear and enemy, and everyone now knows in 2020 that living in fear is really no life at all.



So, if the fear of death is controlling you today please know there is an invitation from God for you to come to Him, to receive Him and to cast all, not some of your cares upon Him for He really does love you and care for you. Know this today too, faith is what sets you free! Not faith in yourself or even faith in your faith, but faith in God. God is faithful to His promises and everything that happens to you and me today must first pass through the filter of His love. Trust Him!



“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”



John 17:3





I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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