Fear and Love

KEY VERSE: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” —I John 4:18


IN A TIME LIKE THIS let us thank God for the truth and our love for it. It is because we know the truth of God’s great plan of salvation that we can look out upon this out-of-kilter world, realize the hopelessness of its situation, and yet not share the fear that is in the hearts of so many at the present time, especially men in high governmental places.

The psalmist explains this saying, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”—Ps. 46:1-3

The removal of the symbolic earth; the mountains being carried into the midst of the sea; the roaring of troubled waters—we readily recognize as pictorially descriptive of the chaotic and distressing conditions which are everywhere apparent today. We recognize these conditions, and understand more clearly than the people of the world just what their certain outcome will be. We know that this present evil world cannot be patched up and made to continue. The remedy must be applied from within, and only the Lost, can do this; and then it will not be to save Satan’s world, but to prepare the people to receive and rejoice in the blessings of the new world, even Christ’s kingdom. How we love to contemplate this wonderful time!

It is because we know that Jehovah has the real remedy for earth’s ills at hand that we do not fear. “God is our refuge and our strength.” The psalmist also wrote, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”—Ps. 91:1-4

God has unlimited ways of lovingly caring for his people, but blessing them with a knowledge of his divine plan at this time is a prime factor in removing fear from their hearts. The truth gives no assurance that we will be shielded from trouble, but it does reveal the meaning of the troubled conditions of the world through which we are passing, and assures us that the Loin will give us strength to bear whatever experiences his wisdom may permit. ‘There is a river,” the psalmist wrote, “the streams whereof make glad the city of God,” that is, the people of God.—Ps. 46:4

Instead of fearing, our hearts are made glad by the streams of that river—the river of life which eventually is to flow from underneath the “throne of God and of the Lamb,” for the blessing of “all the families of the earth.”—Rev. 22:1-17

In this prophecy of the 46th psalm we are given a figurative description of the removal of all the selfish institutions of the world. The ‘earth’ is removed, the ‘mountains’ are carried ‘into the midst of the sea’. The ‘waters’ are ‘troubled’. But this is not true of the Lord’s people, referred to collectively in the prophecy as “her.” “God is in the midst of her,” we read, “she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Or, as the Marginal Translation reads, “when the morning appeareth.”

“She shall not be moved.” This does not imply protection from physical harm. What it does mean is that having been called to joint-heirship in Christ’s kingdom, and proving faithful to the terms of that call, we will maintain our position of favor with God and receive an abundant entrance into the kingdom. Paul puts it this way: “Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”—Heb. 12:28

If we learn well the great lesson of love, that it is the motivating principle behind all of the plans and purposes of God for all ages, we will not fear when we are opposed in our love and activity for the Lord and his truth, because we know these principles will triumph in our individual lives now, just as assuredly as in the worldwide promises of ages to come!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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