Knowing the love of God allows us to live without fear.


In John’s letter, he says: “Love casts out fear.”  He begins with the love of God.  Not the romantic form of love.  Rather he means the total giving of oneself to the other, surrendering oneself to the other, making the other’s well-being the greatest goal of our life. After all, the greatest cause of fear is our self-concern.  I’m afraid I might fail, I might get hurt and maybe I’ll be humiliated.  On and on it goes.  Fear is the product of our self-interest.

There is an interesting connection between “Love” and “Fear”.  In the Epistle, John tells us that love dispels fear.  In the Gospel we learn that the lack of love will only intensify our fear.

Fear and Love are two of the most intense emotions in many peoples’ lives.  Fear we won’t meet expectations, fear that we’re not lovable, fear that we won’t pass exams and fear of sickness and death.  You name it.  There are thousands of fears that disturb people including you and me.

In our Gospel, Apostles who really loved the Lord should have figured he didn’t call them to be “fishers of men” if they were to drown without the opportunity to answer his call. They should have recognized that anybody walking on the water had to be Jesus, the Son of God, not a ghost who would simply swallow them up in the waves. Nor should they have doubted that the man who miraculously fed the 5000 would be unable to calm the winds and the waves.  Had they genuine love for the Lord they would have surrendered their wills to the will of their Lord and with confidence believed that being all powerful he would rescue them even from the elements.

So there is a powerful lesson for each of us in this study.  If we find ourselves fearful and worried in the crises of life we have a third valuable solution for banishing our fears and worries by turning them over to Christ.  To do this we have to develop our total love for the Lord, by putting on the will of Christ not just in words but in all of our actions.

Am I a fearful and worrying type of person; about my lack of friends, my health, my eternal destiny, or anything else?  An honest answer to this question could provide me with a clue to the sincerity and intensity of my love for the Lord.

Love banishes fear. Jesus affirms this for the disciples when they are terrified, not realising that it is Jesus who walks towards them – ’Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ We so often don’t see clearly what opportunities are right in front of us, because we are afraid or hurting or proud. Knowing the love of God allows us to live without fear.

If we allow the truth of God’s message to permeate our being, rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future, we might find the courage to let go enough to simply be in the presence of the God who is love and who banishes all fear. What does it take to live the words ‘Abide in me’?

In the Gospels, we see Jesus walking on the water on several occasions. Once He got into the boat and the wind died down. Another time, the boat miraculously covered the three miles to the shore in one second. On another occasion, at Peter’s request, Jesus commanded Peter to walk on the water with Him. The gospels seem to indicate that we have something to say about what effect the water-walking Jesus has on us.

Most of us think of only one thing when we’re in a storm. We want peace and safety, and that’s what we get, and all that we get. If we had more faith, we would be open to Jesus doing more. The Lord is willing to get us somewhere fast, to accelerate our growth in holiness, to speed up our efforts to evangelize, and even to hasten His final coming.

Few Christians have the faith and boldness of Peter. We’re content to sit in the boat and watch Jesus walk on water, but we could join Him if we requested it. We could walk on the waters of sin and evil. We could even quickly crush Satan under our feet. Let’s go for a walk with Jesus.

When we put first things first and surrender ourselves to God, all other things fall into place. Because Jesus first went to pray, He had the strength to walk on water. Too often we discharge the batteries constantly, hastening from this good and holy event to the next good and holy event, becoming emptier and emptier as we do not fill up on God.

In any task, in any endeavor, let us first turn to God. Let’s spend time in prayer — not because God needs or requires it, but because we do. Let us seek peace in our hearts and in our souls, and spend some time talking to God, reflecting on God and meeting with God. Let’s restore ourselves with His word and His presence with us.


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