“Wherever God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear.”

1 John 4:18 (NCV)

A lot of people think the opposite of fear is faith. It’s not! The opposite of fear is love.Love moves against fear. When love comes in the front door of your heart, fear goes out the back door. You can’t be afraid and loving at the same time—not with real love. When you have real love—God’s love—then you don’t have to fear.

People don’t run into a burning building to rescue children because of faith. They do it because of love. Parents will put their lives at risk to protect their families because they love their babies.

If love is the motivation of everything you do, then fear is going to disappear.

“Wherever God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18 NCV).

When you start feeling fear rise up in you—maybe something you have to do is making you nervous—you need to pause at that moment. Then focus on how much God loves you. You may need to remind yourself out loud: “God, you really love me! You’re on my side. You want me to succeed in this. I’m going to do it in your strength and with your love.”

God doesn’t want you to fail. He wants you to succeed at what you’re doing in life and fulfill your purpose. When you focus on his love, you won’t be afraid. Perfect love casts out all fear!

When I speak in front of thousands of people every weekend, I’m not afraid. Why? Because I do two things: I focus on God’s love for me, and then I focus on my love for my church family. They are not an audience to be feared. They are a family to be loved. My love for them and for Jesus overcomes any fear I might have when I preach.

When you’re fearful, you’re focusing totally on yourself. That’s not love! When you’re loving, you’re focused not on yourself but on what other people need.

The more loving you are, the less fearful you are. So, if you make love your motivation for what you do, you’re not going to be afraid to do it.

Make love your motivation, and move against your fear.

Talk It Over

  • Why is it easier for us to focus on ourselves instead of other people?
  • What is one of your greatest fears about fulfilling your mission in life? What does your fear reveal about your motivations?
  • Can you love someone when you are focused on yourself? Why or why not?