“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4:18).
My 3-year-old is scared of “monsters” right now. Monsters in the bed, under the bed, on the side of the bed – occasionally monsters in the closet. When I go to his room at night, I can truthfully and lovingly show him all sides of the bed, assuring him that there are actually no monsters around. And, every once in a while, my assurance that the monsters aren’t real actually does indeed drive out the fear and enable him to sleep well.
But that’s not exactly how the perfect love of God works. Oh, it does drive out fear, but it doesn’t do so by assuring us that our fears are unfounded. They may indeed be.
It’s true that 90% of the things that we worry about are never going to happen. But that leaves 10%. 10% of tragedy. 10% of pain. 10% of difficulty. And the Lord is not so condescending as to simply offer us a trite, “Don’t worry about that. That’s silly.”
Instead, the perfect love of God, when confronted with all our anxiety, worry, and fear – all of our “what if’s” – says back: “So what if it does?”
What if the business fails?
What if the disease comes?
What if the economy crumbles?
And the love of God says, “What if it does?”
Would that separate us from the love and presence of Jesus? Would that put into question the eternal security stored up for us? Would that change the character of a good, loving and powerful God?
What if it does?
The fear is driven out by the love of God. Not because that 10% won’t happen, but because even when it does, it does not change the demonstrated love of God one iota.