Perfect Love

... perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

Pretend for a moment you and I are having coffee and for the first 30 minutes you confess your paralyzing battle between fear and faith. After you shed many tears, I smile and say, “God says perfect love casts out fear. So your problem is not fear; it’s love.” Would this be helpful? Something makes me think this might be the last time you ask me anything about fear or love, and it would probably be our last time having coffee together. ☺

If I asked you what “perfect love casts out fear” means to you, how would you respond?

Fear is an emotion every human will experience in this lifetime, and sometimes it can be healthy. Fear gives us superhuman strength when dealing with sudden danger, or allows us to do the unexplainable in the short-term. But unhealthy fear can leave us feeling powerless. Could this fatigue be cancer? Will my children/grandchildren/friends get through this situation or that trial? I know God will indeed allow His children to enter into battles that are beyond our control in order to show His power in our powerlessness. But the fear is still very real.

So what did Jesus mean when He told His disciples to “fear not” in the midst of a terrifying storm? Jesus wanted them to know He was more powerful than the storm as He acknowledged their fear and told the waves to stop. (Matthew 8:23-26)

Jesus is telling us (and showing us!) to embrace this truth: we can face every storm with the assurance He can still the waves of fear in us with His great love. Fear and love are not friends, nor can they stay in the same room. In other words, the perfect love of God will destroy fear, or to quote John, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

Fear is universal. The bigger question for many is can we really know and experience perfect love? I have great news! Yes, we can experience perfect love. As I prayed and asked God to show me the truth in John’s statement, I began to understand that perfect love isn’t human; there is no man who can love perfectly. Only the Son of God loved us perfectly and came down from heaven to show us the true meaning of perfect love. Do not allow yourself to feel ashamed that you do not have enough faith to not be afraid. Embrace the truth from John, and Jesus who often said, “Fear not.” Jesus alone can love perfectly. So, stop looking for perfect love in all the wrong places. ☺

This month many will celebrate Valentine’s Day. You may fear this day and feel alone or forgotten, or you may fear not having someone to express love to you. These are legitimate fears and, I believe, reasons Jesus reminds us He alone offers “perfect love.” It is not by chance Jesus tells us “I will never leave or forsake you,” (Deuteronomy 31:8) and “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” (John 15:16)

Here’s what we know:

only God has the capacity to love perfectly

He loves us unconditionally.  

When we truly believe and embrace these truths, what do we need to fear? He loves us so much He will give us His best, so no need to fret or fear! Thanks to Jesus, we have confirmation God’s perfect love will drive out fear. We don’t have to face our fears alone but can allow God to destroy them. What an amazing God He is to love and take care of His children perfectly!

Now, that’s a great Valentine!

Maybe life hasn't shown you the love recently. Or maybe you need to be reminded of what authentic, powerful love looks like. We've created a list to encourage you in God's love for you. He is completely smitten with you, and He wants you to know it!

You can even print this downloadable list and take it with you wherever you go!

What's Happening

We're so excited for the release of Dot's new book, Running For Your Life! Want to make sure you've secured your copy? Click the link to preorder + receive a FREE 10 week study guide to accompany the book! This offer is limited time only, so hurry up and make sure to snag it!

We've opened up registration for the 2019 BREATHE retreat, and there's a special February rate just for you. Take advantage and make plans to join us January 18-20th, 2019 at Winshape Retreat Center. Click the image to register.

Don't miss Dot's book signing this month! Join her at All Inspired Boutique in Johns Creek where she'll be signing copies of her book, a week before it's officially released! Enjoy snacks and fellowship, and shop all the cute things in the store. All Inspired is donating 15% of all profits from sales to Cup of Joy, so be sure to get some gifts for all the special people in your life! Click the link to RSVP on Facebook.

Too Cute!
We can't get enough of this sweet little love song. Hope this brings a smile to your face the way it has to ours. :)  Click below to watch!

Cup of Joy, 1792 Woodstock Rd., Suite 250 B, Roswell, GA 30075, United States

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