What is the opposite of fear? There are a lot of antonyms for fear: assurance, calmness, faith, happiness, joy, trust, courage, comfort, unconcern and love. Let’s look at love. There are so many verses about love in the Bible, we can keep each other busy for hours. The Bible itself is God’s love letter to us. So let’s just look at a few verses about what love is.
We all know 1 Corinthians 13 so well with all the characteristics of love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 & 13 (NKJV)
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
This tells us what love is and is not. It give us good guidelines. To me the best and ultimate definition of love in the Bible is:
1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:16 (NKJV)
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
God IS love. This love that is referred to in these verses is agape love – a selfless, sacrificial and unconditional love. God sent His only Son to die for us because He loves us – that is the most selfless and unconditional love that you will ever find.
If the opposite of fear is love then there cannot be love in fear and there cannot be fear in love. When we read Genesis 3 about when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we see that after they ate from the tree, they realised that they were naked. When they heard the sound of God walking in the garden, Adam and Eve hid from God. Verses 9 – 10 (NKJV):
“ Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” ”
When they ate from the tree that God had said they should not eat from, they received the knowledge of good and evil. Before that they only knew about God’s love for them and the tree of life. When they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they did not do the will of God and in doing that they chose to move away from God. They hid and they were afraid. The moment they disobeyed God their focus shifted and they focussed on their nakedness instead of the love of God. When God made Adam and Eve, they were naked and this is how God intended us to be. Being naked means to be exposed, uncovered or undisguised. Before they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they had no knowledge that they were naked and they could be their true selves with God – exposed, uncovered and undisguised. They could love God without any interference, with nothing covered up and without holding back. The first thing they did when they realised that they were naked was they covered themselves with fig leaves and they hid from God. They were afraid. They no longer had the courage (antonym of fear) to be their true selves to God, fear had set in and this separated them from God.
God had a plan to get man to again not be covered in front of Him anymore, for the relationship to be restored. He sent His Son to die for us, He conquered death and rose from the grave. Like I said earlier, this was and is the ultimate act of love. Jesus conquered death and fear with the Father’s love.
I John 4:18-19 (NKJV)
“ There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”
Torment means severe physical or mental suffering, so fear involves severe physical or mental suffering. Jesus died for us to do away with physical and mental suffering and so much more. He died for our fears so that we may be set free – free from fear. This scripture says that if we fear we have not been made perfect in love – Jesus dealt with fear on the cross through God’s perfect love. If we hold on to fear, do we not in a way deny what Jesus did – we deny ourselves of this perfect love! We can live fear free and even more so – in perfect love and we can experience this if we let go of our fears. Let the sea wash over our fears, so that we can remain focussed on Jesus when the storms are around us so that we can live closer to God and in His perfect love! God who is LOVE, loved us first, all we have to do is love Him back!
Let God’s perfect love cast out all your fears.