Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
1 John 4:17-18
Of the many phobias, we might have surely the most frightening is “kolosisphobia”, the fear of punishment. Even more crippling than fear of heights, tight spaces, and crowds can be the fear of standing before God to face punishment.
I know well this ominous fear of eternal punishment having struggled with it myself, as well as walked alongside others as they struggle. But here is good news! Liberating, joyful good news! The very Son of God took on Himself our punishment so that we need have no fear. As today’s scripture reassures, “perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment.” So God’s love has reached its intended perfection in me when I live free of any fear of God’s punishment. “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment.”
If I experience fear I can be sure that fear does not come from the heavenly Father. For fear of punishment does not come from God, but from the Evil One, that is, the Accuser (Revelation 12:10), or else from my own twisted projections onto God.
Today’s scripture promises “we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he [Christ] is, so are we in this world.” I would not dare to think or even imagine this, except God’s Word gives me this boldness! I can, right now, be bold before God the Father even as the Son of God is bold before Him. Repeatedly Jesus says to His followers: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27). God’s perfect love for us casts out any fear!
A fellow traveler,