“Perfect love drives out fear” ~1 John 4:18
After the waitress poured their second cup of coffee, Walt said, “OK, Roger, what’s going on? Clearly something is heavy on your mind this morning. We’ve known each other for a long time, my friend, so spill the beans. Maybe I can help like you’ve helped me so many times.”
It was a wintry morning and Roger held his cup with both hands, concentrating on the wisps of steam arising, hoping his friend could help him overcome his strong emotions. Fear gripped him!
“I’ve been meaning to find ways of selling stories and photos because we need more income but…I’ve opened the door to uncertainty which always brings along its friend, fear. Once fear and uncertainty settle in, I become paralyzed.”
“You, filled with fear? That is a surprise, Roger. You are the go-to guy whenever I have spiritual battles so I would never think of you struggling with fear and doubt. I am so sorry I’ve been so casual about your possible needs and struggles.”
“Oh, I understand the feeling, Walt. I once had a spiritual mentor who seemed to always be on his game no matter how dire the problem until one day he shared, like I am doing now, his struggles with me. It was then I realized how little I’d been praying for him. He said something I have never forgotten which I’ll share with you. As he was describing his battles with the flesh and satan, he said, ‘Roger, don’t ever stop praying for me. You must realize how important your prayers are to me and to God. He commands us to pray for each other.’”
“Forgive me, my friend. Let me begin with praying 1 John 4:18 which says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
Right there, in that restaurant booth, fear was driven out as God’s love shattered its stronghold in Roger’s life. Just like athletes willingly force their bodies to come under subjection through rigorous and repetitive training routines, our lives can be free of fear, anger, lust, greed, hate through faith coupled with fervent prayer. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” ~James 5:16
Isaiah 41.13 I am the LORD your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
Psalm 27.1 You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. You protect me, and I have no fears.
Psalm 62.2 God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe and the fortress where I am secure.
Psalm 91.1-2 Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful. Then you will say to the LORD, “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.”
2 Corinthians 1.3-4 The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.
Romans 8.38-39 I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not the powers above or the powers below.
Isaiah 25.8-9 The LORD All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears. . .At that time, people will say, “The Lord has saved us! Let’s celebrate. We waited and hoped –now our God is here.”
Psalm 145.13-14 Our LORD, you keep your word and do everything you say. When someone stumbles or falls, you give a helping hand.
Psalm 16.5-9 You, LORD, are all I want! You are my choice, and you keep me safe. You make my life pleasant, and my future is bright. I praise you, LORD, for being my guide. Even in the darkest night, your teachings fill my mind. I will always look to you, as you stand beside me and protect me from fear. With all my heart, I will celebrate, and I can safely rest.
The following 1933 inaugural address by Franklin D. Roosevelt points to Biblical truth:
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.