NO FEAR IN LOVE
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment. In this world, we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4: 16-19).
God is love! The world refuses to believe this one truth about God. It places the blame for all the evil in the world at God’s feet as though He were the one who opened the “Pandora’s box” of misery and released it on the human race. People blame God for every hardship they suffer. “Why did God allow this to happen?” she whines when she discovers she is pregnant after a one-night stand. She forgets that she made the choice by submitting to lust.
“Why did God do this to me?” weeps a teenager when he stares at the mangled body of a child whom he has just run over while driving under the influence of alcohol. Did God force the drink down his throat and shove the car keys into his hand? Why do people blame God when tragedies happen when they never give Him a thought at any other time? Have they not thought of taking responsibility for their choices?
Satan will do anything and everything in his power to cast doubts on the character of God. He tricked Eve into believing that God was withholding from them their “right” to make their own rules. He was crafty. He questioned God’s love for the first pair by suggesting that he knew better than God what was good for them. If they just tasted the fruit of disobedience, they would be free from God’s restrictions.
It did not occur to them that God set up boundaries around their choices to protect them from harm, not to restrict their enjoyment of what He had given them. Why did he place restrictions on our use and enjoyment of sex, for example? He made marriage, i.e. the union of a man and a woman for life, the fence within in which they can enjoy His perfect gift of physical love. He created us with our physical and psychological makeup. He knows how He put us together to resemble and reflect Him. When we defy His boundaries, we damage ourselves.
No responsible mother would allow a toddler to play in the garden if she left the gate onto a busy highway open. Why would God allow His beloved children to play with sex without closing the gate on the danger of promiscuity? People foolishly believe that they can “play in the street” without being damaged by their disobedience to God’s “boundary fence”. God has set up His warning signs, to change the metaphor, at the edge of every precipice to prevent us from stumbling over the edge. Why blame Him when we fall?
God loves His offspring enough to warn us of danger before we ruin ourselves, but we still blame Him or doubt His love when “stuff happens”. Every time we defiantly ask “Why?” when we experience trouble or tragedy, we are inadvertently demanding to know what we have done to deserve such treatment from God. We question “why” because we are expressing fear. We are suspicious of God because we do not believe that He loves us. Of what are we afraid?
Punishment! John stated that we do not experience the perfect love of God when we are afraid. Slaves, not God’s children, fear punishment. We fear punishment when we are not convinced that God punished Jesus for all our sin once-for-all. In any legal system, no one can be punished twice for the same crime. Why, then, would God punish His children for their sin again when He punished Jesus for all sin when He died on the cross?
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool. For by one sacrifice, He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb. 10: 13-14).
Gods’ love provided the sacrifice for sin – the lifeblood of His own Son. There can be no greater demonstration of love. God’s love gave us the solution to our sin, but God cannot prevent us from ignoring His boundary fences if we choose to do so. We must face the consequences if we defy His instructions. He does not treat us as puppets.
How must we interpret the adversities we experience that we did not cause through disobedience? Is God responsible for hurting us? Can we blame Him when we suffer hardships despite our faith in Him? There are two valid reasons for continuing to trust God even when we are going through hard times.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children . . . God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness (Heb. 12: 7: 10b).
God wants to expose and get rid of everything that causes us to mistrust His love.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Rom. 8: 28-29).
God is removing everything in our lives that hinders us from becoming replicas of Jesus. He wants us to be His true sons and daughters just like our elder brother.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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