Friday before Christmas, a wicked winter storm knocked out power for hundreds of thousands, and trees were tossed like toothpicks in my hometown. It was frightening, to say the least, and some residents are still in the dark and cold. Fear comes in all varieties: fear of the storm, of death, of severe diagnosis, of poverty, of losing one’s job, and the list goes on.
Having never witnessed Jesus’ power over nature, was He asking too much of His disciples after He calmed the storm in the sea? (Matthew 8:23-27) He seems rather brusque, given the circumstances. Couldn’t He have been a little more understanding?
We all fear the storms of life. Will our loved one’s cancer return? Will we get back on our feet financially? What about a rebellious teen… or broken relationships? The list evolves over time. What is the connection between faith and the lack of fear?
In 1 John 4, the apostle declares that perfect love casts out fear. I would like to snap my fingers and declare that this was true for me, but…
In recent years something has become more true for me: as I contemplate Romans 8, I see two verses that serve as bookends giving me a greater sense of security in the midst of life’s insecurities.
Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
When I belong to Christ, I am free from rejection, hell, doom, or perdition. Another way of putting it: I have nothing to prove; absolutely nothing I must say or do to ensure my place with God or that better guarantees His safekeeping. Perfect love has done it all. I cannot add one iota of anything to safeguard I am loved and accepted. That is good news indeed! Does it mean that I will never sin or fall short? Does it mean things I ultimately fear will never happen? No, but when I fall into error or sin, I can always return to Him, find forgiveness and rest in His loving embrace.
The second bookend comes from Romans 8:35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Is there anything that can separate us from His love? Anything? If not, then we have absolutely nothing to lose!
Sit for a minute with these two truths: When we are in Christ, we have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Read it again…
Will heartaches come? Can we still fall ill, sin against others, or lose a job? On this side of Heaven, the answer is yes. But let’s also declare with a loud voice: we ultimately have nothing to prove with God or others, and ultimately nothing to lose that is essential to our souls. Perfect love is yours, is mine. Perfect love is perfecting us to share in His glory one day. May our fears diminish as we grasp hold of these truths and move boldly forward in growing faith and love.