zaterdag 7 februari 2015

There is no fear in love

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. We love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:18-19

Contrary to popular opinion the opposite of love is not hate, it is fear. It is fear that our needs may not be met, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of what others can do to us, or many other fears, that actually prevent us from being able to receive and give love. True love can only flourish where fear makes way for the courage to trust and dare to be vulnerable enough to entrust ourselves to others. It is because of Gods enormous love that we dare to trust Him and as His love transforms our hearts we more dare to trust others too and let go of our fear. Then we no longer need to hide behind walls of silence, bitterness, deception, self-sufficiency, keeping up appearances, hate or anger to defend our fragile selves but as weak as we are become strong in His love.

woensdag 4 februari 2015

Love casts out all fear

To love God and to love people also includes learning to Trust God and Trust People: Let go of your fear and let your walls come down.

1 Cor. 13:4-7

Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, 5 does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; 6 rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

In love and in life, our vulnerability is one of our greatest strengths. We often believe that we risk too much by being vulnerable, but, in fact, the opposite is true. When we build a wall around us to protect ourselves from the things we fear, we miss out on the abundance of life Christ has in store for us.
We need to dare to be vulnerable before God and surrender ourselves in trust in order to receive His love and we must dare to be vulnerable before people and give them our trust in order to relate to them in love.

Love does not operate from suspicion. It does not approach people with distrust and fear of rejection.

Love bears, hopes and believes.

as 1 John 4:18 says:

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love.

If we live in fear then we need to learn to receive more love from God and learn to love Him and people

When we live with the fear that something may be taken from us (physically or emotionally), or that we need to be in control of everything that happens, we endure fear on a daily basis. Fear leads to suspicion, paranoia, irritation, anger, hate and eventually it will hurt ourselves and others.

It is exhausting to live this way. It makes us cynical, suspicious, and unable to follow the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit it our hearts because we fear what might or might not happen. These fears may include:

Fear of being abandoned
Fear of being rejected as worthless
Fear of being ridiculed or humiliated
Fear of making a mistake or failing at a task
Fear of not being able to measure up to people’s expectations
Fear of committing ourselves and taking responsibility for our decisions
Fear of being used or taken advantage of
Fear of.......

These fears are part of our broken and sinful human nature and they hinder us and hold us back from all God has in store for us. And unless we recognize them for what they are: Harmful for us and others. If not submitted to Christ and handed over to Him they will continue to influence our everyday interactions with God, ourselves and other people in a negative way.

It is not just about trusting people but also about life situations and opportunities that come our way. When the barriers are up, our lives become very limited, we are literally prisoners of our fear and cannot fully enjoy the freedom of the children of God.

We don’t bother talking to someone because we’re certain they won’t be interested in us.
We don’t show how much we care about a person because we’re afraid they won’t love us back.
We don’t commit our feelings too much to a relationship because we fear they may leave us one day
We don’t apply for a job because we’re scared we won’t be accepted

……fear hurts us and others and it stops us from reaching the destiny God has in mind for us

We need to ask God to help us overcome our fears with trust, our anxiety with love, for His perfect love can cast out all fear.

To be vulnerable and no longer pretend to be stronger and better than we are is difficult for all human beings, but if you are someone who has suffered at the hands of other people it is even more difficult. However, if you consciously choose to take the risk to be open and trusting, you will find that your world changes for the better in ways you may never have imagined.

Of course, it is always right to use our instincts as our guide. You should not yourself up to be shot down emotionally by someone who does not deserve your trust. You may give people a chance but if they keep hurting you knowingly and do not make an effort to change, it is time to shake the dust of your feet and move on. But also, you should not let negative past experiences allow you to believe that it’s not safe to trust again.

What can I do to change?

In order to get to a place where you are comfortable being vulnerable and being able to trust a person or situation, you must first be honest with yourself.

It is not weak to admit to ourselves that we fear abandonment, or we fear rejection, or we fear appearing inadequate. Better to admit the truth than to tell yourself a lie, “he is not my type,” “I have no problem, people just don’t appreciate me”, “I don’t need anyone”…..

We must look such fears in the eye and realize they are simply methods trying to protect us from being hurt, they were necessary in the past to cope with hardship but now they must go for they prevent us from enjoying the fullness of life God has for us. We must stop surviving and start fully living the wonderful life of love God has in mind for us.

maandag 2 februari 2015

God can reweave what is evil into good

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (50:20 NASB)

In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. Joseph tied himself to the pillar of this promise and held on for dear life. Nothing in his story glosses over the presence of evil. Quite the contrary. Bloodstains, tearstains are everywhere. Joseph’s heart was rubbed raw against the rocks of disloyalty and miscarried justice. Yet time and time again God redeemed the pain. The torn robe became a royal one. The pit became a palace. The broken family grew old together. The very acts intended to destroy God’s servant turned out to strengthen him.

“You meant evil against me,” Joseph told his brothers, using a Hebrew verb that traces its meaning to “weave” or “plait.”

“You wove evil,” he was saying, “but God rewove it together for good.”

God, the Master Weaver. He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colors, the ragged twine with the velvet strings, the pains with the pleasures. Nothing escapes his reach. Every king, despot, weather pattern, and molecule are at his command. He passes the shuttle back and forth across the generations, and as he does, a design emerges. Satan weaves; God reweaves.

See more in the original article by Max Lucado: