“Fear” John 7:1-15

Most of us have, at some point in our lives, had a battle with fear. Some of us are afraid right now, afraid of what might go wrong or what might not ever go right, afraid that the fragile things in our lives will break or the weak things will never become strong. For many fear is a constant companion, for others it’s a distant memory, but one thing is for sure, fear is not ever our friend. I contend that fear is not of God, not only is God not fearful but He does not rule or lead with fear because fear is a tool of manipulation and control. In II Timothy 1:7, Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, who was battling fear and shame over Paul’s imprisonment and impending death, “For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, timidity or fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.” Paul is not only telling Timothy and us not to be afraid, He’s teaching us that fear stands in opposition to the character of God, that power, love and self-control can’t come from and don’t stand along side of fear. In I John 4:8 and 16, the apostle wrote “God is love”, wanting his readers to understand that the character of God, the foundation of who God is and all that God does is love. This means that not only does God love us or do loving things, but God Himself is love, His core, character and fabric is love. Everything He does flows from the fact that He does not simply tell us what love is, but He is the very definition of love. In verse 18 John then contrasted love with fear, “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.” If God is love and there is no fear in love, then am I wrong to believe there is no God in fear? If perfect love, which is God, drives out fear, then can God use as a tool that which can’t even stand in His presence? If God is love and there is no fear in love, then doesn’t that have to mean that fear, not only is not from God, but belongs to Satan? This morning, as we look at John 7, I want us to see the goals of fear and the plans of God, I want us to see that being afraid is not sinful but is also not God’s will for any of us. I want us to see that we are not being called to just stop being afraid, but to overcome our fear with the courage to trust the character of God enough to obey the Word of God. In John 7 we see fear at work and we see Jesus dealing with it, standing in the midst of it, even exposing it for the lie that it is. My prayer today is that we will see fear differently by seeing Christ more clearly.

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