Love Over Fear

Today, I want to ask an important question. It’s a question that is an undercurrent to so much of the discussion, worry, and anxiety around COVID-19. It’s a question that lurks behind our worries about our jobs, our finances, our families, and even our country. It’s a question that, unless it’s addressed firmly and clearly, can lead us in dangerous directions. 

The question is this: Is love stronger than fear?

I think this question matters, because how you answer it frames how you see our future. And, you can easily see when people are talking, whether it is love or fear that is framing how they think, speak, and see the future.

I think it matters to honestly, clearly, and especially theologically answer that question: Is love stronger than fear?

For me, the answer is absolutely clear: Love always has been, is, and will be stronger than fear. Love conquers fear. Love overcomes fear. Love defeats fear. 

Or, as the Apostle James puts it: “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18, NKJV). 

Or, as the Apostle Paul puts it: “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a, NIV) 

Both love and fear offer two perspectives and vantage points on the world. I just believe that one is true and the other is a lie. 

Fear lies, confuses, and distracts. Love empowers, engages, and calls us to act.

Now, let me be clear. When I’m talking about love as a perspective, I am not saying we should put on “rose-coloured glasses” and pretend that nothing is happening. I’m not saying we should be cavalierly going about our day with no precautions. No. That’s not what love is in the least.

Instead, what I’m saying is that, as we live in the present and look into the future, we have a choice of what perspective we take. We can take the fear perspective that says things will get worse, that everything is dark, and that there is no hope. Or, we can take the love perspective that says that no matter how difficult or dark things get, love, hope, and compassion will outlast the dark.

Our choice isn’t about denying difficulty, but rather about whether or not we give difficulty, darkness, and trouble the final word, or we choose to believe, like the Apostles James and Paul, that no matter what happens, love can still cast out fear – that love never fails.

I write all this really to say one thing: 

Listen to love over fear.

Listen to love over fear.

Listen to love over fear.

Because, not only are “love” and “fear” perspectives, they are also voices we can listen to. Voices we can respond to. Voices that can guide us. And, as a Christian, I testify to the fact that love overcomes death, difficulty, and darkness. Because, this is what I see at the cross. I see love defeating death, sin, evil, and difficulty. I see love never failing. I see love overcoming.

But, for love to overcome fear, it begins by listening to the voice of love over the voice of fear. As Christians, we call this listening prayer, meaning that we listen to the voice of God that James reminds us of, which is love and not fear.

So, today, can I encourage you to do one thing? To stop and pray and listen to God’s voice. To let His voice direct you. To let His voice guide you. To let His voice call you to action. Because, today, there are people who need to be reminded that love is in the world.

At this time, what can you do to remind people that love is stronger than fear? Because, this is what we need in this time, and what will get us through this time. 

I’ll confess that in the past few days, fear has gripped me too. But, it has been in the moments of connection with neighbours, someone dropping off flowers, or a surprise phone call that has reminded me of what I already know – love never fails.

So, today, may we remind one another that love is stronger than fear by how we live, act, and hope in uncertainty.

As always, grace and peace,

Andrew

6 comments on “Love Over Fear

  1. BRENDA Asiriuwa on

    As always your words are so real and make us really think and remember what God and prayer can do. Keeping our faith strong and relying on God and his love and prayer will bring us through these scary times.

    Thank you Pastor Andrew

    Reply
    • Gee Jeong on

      Hi Rina, You can watch live on sunday at 9am through our website at bethanycc.ca/live or through our facebook page at facebook.com/bethanycc/
      Hope you see you online this sunday 🙂

      Reply

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