16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 17 This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.
Many of us who drive at night through the area are familiar with the saying “deer in the headlights.” It’s the image of a wide eyed, quivering deer that stands paralyzed in the face of oncoming danger, when it should act and run. Fear can be a way to warn us and get us moving, or it can cause the suffering that comes with being paralyzed into inaction.
This pandemic is causing a lot of fear and suffering. Each day we cope with another new normal and we experience constant anxiety because everything feels out of control. We feel like deer in the headlights. That’s why it really helps us to remember the good news, God is love! God loves us and is with us and has given us eternal life through Jesus. We do not need to fear judgement or punishment but can be confident in God’s love. The author of this scripture says, “we have known and believed the love God has for us,” because they themselves experienced God’s love. So we can know and rely on the love God has for us. We love God and develop a loving, not fearful, relationship with God. This same love then is in us and helps us to grow in loving one another.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Do you believe that God loves you? Do you believe that you don’t need to live your life in fear of punishment, but can be confident in God’s love? Let God’s love drive out your fear of punishment and embrace the abundant life that God has in store for you. God’s love will release you from being paralyzed to being a loving child of God who knows what it is to experience God’s perfect love.
Prayer: Loving God, sometimes we do feel afraid, paralyzed and uncertain of what lies ahead. Remind me always that you are love and that you love me. Vanquish my fear with your love and let me experience the confidence and joy of your perfect love, so that I may share your love with others. Amen.