Perfect Love and Fear

Excerpt from I STILL BELIEVE by Jeremy Camp –

The Lord’s character and essence is love; the Word tells us that He is love.  It also tell us that He loves us beyond what we could ever fathom.  It hit me that if I could really understand His love and how He feels about me–how generously He wants to pour into my life, both in the present age and in the age to come–then I could get free from these fears that were besetting me.  In other words, the more we embrace the depth of our Heavenly Father’s everlasting care and concern for us, the easier it is to believe that all is well.  No matter what happens on this side of heaven, we can be certain that He holds it all in His hands and knows the end from the beginning.

Just trust Me,” The Lord was reminding me.  “Trust Me.  Trust Me.  Trust Me.”  As I prayed that day, God took me to a time-tested promise: “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

I am still just beginning to grasp the truth that His love is the only perfect kind.

In the course of wrestling with fear, I realized I was afraid of the pain and heartache that I had experienced through Melissa’s passing.  It might sound selfish, but I feared ever feeling that way again.  I realized that no matter what happened all would be fine in the end, because I had dealt with some of the worst pain you can go through.  But I was scared to walk through the pain again, because, well, the pain HURTS.  That was more my fear, and that’s what God dealt with me on.  He brought me to the place where I could proclaim, “Lord, I believe that You will walk with me through whatever pain I will have to face in the future.  By Your grace, I will not be afraid of the pain.”

What I have walked through has refined me.  It hasn’t defined me–this is not who I am, “the guy whose wife passed away and who has a powerful testimony because of that“–but it HAS refined me and deepened my dependence on the Rock of my salvation.

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