There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment—1 John 4: 18.
Mighty, imposing and terrifying indeed is the influence of fear, except upon those who have learned to know the Lord through previous experiences, and to trust Him even where they cannot trace Him. The giant of fear and despair must be met with the pebble from the brook, "It is written." The sling of faith must propel the word of promise with such force as to slay the Adversary and to deliver us from his domination. … Thus armed only with the Word of God, and trusting in His rod and staff, we may well be courageous and answer imposing sectarianism as David answered the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of … Israel, which thou hast defied".
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Love delights in and feels with God. It is conscious of its oneness with God and feels the spirit of sonship toward Him coursing through its possessor's heart. Such a love is based upon an intimate acquaintance with God through His Spirit, Word and providence. In its communion with Him it finds Him thoroughly reliable, hopeable, lovable and obeyable; therefore, while it reverences Him as supremely perfect in person, character, plan and works, it does not stand in dread of Him. Dread of God would work such a restraint Godward in our hearts as would cast out love for Him. Reversely, love for Him rids us of such a dread of Him.
Parallel passages: Deut. 20: 8; Judges 7: 3; Prov. 28: 1; 29: 25; Isa. 51: 12, 13; Matt. 8: 26; 26: 69-74; Rom. 8: 15; 1Cor. 13: 4-7; 2Tim. 1: 7; 1John 4: 16, 17.
Questions: Have I succumbed to or overcome the spirit of fear this week? How? Why?
What did love do in the experience?
BE strong to bear, O heart of mine,
Faint not when sorrows come.
The sum of all these ills of earth
Prepares thee for thy home.
So many burdened ones there are
Close toiling by thy side,
Assist, encourage, comfort them,
Thine own deep anguish hide.
What though thy trials may seem great?
Thy strength is known to God,
And pathways steep and rugged lead
To pastures green and broad.
Be strong to love, O heart of mine,
Live not for self alone;
But find, in blessing other lives,
Completeness for thine own.
Seek every hungry heart to feed,
Each saddened heart to cheer;
And when stern justice stands aloof,
In mercy draw thou near.
True, loving words and helping hands
Have won more souls for Heaven
Than all the mixed and various creeds
By priests and sages given.
For every grief a joy will come,
For every toil a rest;
So hope, so love, so patient bear—
God doeth all things best.
Be strong to hope, O heart of mine,
Look not on life's dark side;
For just beyond these gloomy hours
Rich, radiant days abide.
Let hope, like summer's rainbow bright,
Scatter thy falling tears,
And let God's precious promises
Dispel thine anxious fears.
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