"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…"
About a year and a half ago, a friend and I went to see veteran Christian recording artist Amy Grant in concert. After a night filled with Amy's beloved contemporary classics, she played a song from an album that was (at the time) still in the works.
The song was called Unafraid, and it reached in and touched my heart like none of the others had that night.
As I've been walking with the Lord for nearly 25 years now, He has changed my heart and my life in many ways. But, more than anything else I can put my finger on…
…God has given me courage.
I don't say this in a boastful way, mind you. I'm making this known as a tribute to Him—because it's no small feat.
Before I knew the Lord, I was afraid of many things. As a child I was terrified that my parents would die (they've always been quite healthy—it was just fear). As a young adult on my own in a state far from where I'd grown up, I suffered from extreme loneliness. I was much too shy to put myself in circumstances where I would meet new people, although I hated being without friends.
Then when I became a single mom, I was so fearful of somehow losing or mis-parenting this precious child of whom I was now in charge.
Even later on, as a "new" Christian, the challenges of the beginning years of marriage brought an anxiety that threatened to steal my peace of mind at every turn.
But now, as I look back, I can clearly see the enormous change that only God could bring to my heart, soul and to who I am. It's even stated in 1John 4:18:
"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."
Bottom line; God's perfect love has cast out my fear.
It has enabled me to love my husband—unafraid. To entrust my children, now young adults, into God's secure hands—unafraid. To let go of my brother, till we meet again on the other side of the veil—unafraid. To see my parents getting older, but to know (since they're Believers) I can never really lose them—unafraid. To look to the future—unafraid.
It doesn't mean never being fearful of something—but because God's perfect love is always present, it brings courage. Courage, by the way, is not defined by never being afraid; but by—in the face of that fear—pressing through it.
Merriam-Webster defines "courage" this way:
"…mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. …mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. Courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty."
Sounds a lot like what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Tim. 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
Recently, Amy's new EP was released and I heard the full version of her new song: Unafraid. As I listen, I know God has done this work in Amy, as well as in me. She tells the story well; here is an excerpt from the lyrics:
Watchin' my children finding their way
Through struggles and trials and heartbreak
I hope the roads they take are making them strong
I'll still be on my knees long after they're gone.
But, Love has made, Love has made, Love has made…
…has made me unafraid.
If you struggle with fear, I pray that you will allow God to do this great work in you too.
May His perfect love cast out your fear today.
(To watch a video of Amy Grant playing this song, click here: )