1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
Love is pure; love is kind and tender; love is bold and confident. There is no fear in perfect love. Much of the would be unbelief of the day springs from terror. No doubt there is real honest unbelief — a failing to believe — inability to find truth. These deserve our tenderest pity. You should pity and pray for those out in the godless, hopeless gloom, as you pity and pray for the sailors at sea when the wind howls round your house, and you hear the loud boom of the storm driven waves on the shore. Much of the feverishness with which men plunge into business, and whirl in the eddies of pleasure, arises from their dread of God. But, worse still, many so called religious people never get beyond this state of dread. They only know God as the Terrible One. James Mill taught his son John Stuart to think of God as "the Almighty Author of Hell," and to hate the idea of Him therefore. Of all that the New Testament says of God, James Mill chose to seize only on that. He said nothing of heaven, nor of God's efforts to keep men from hell. And many people follow his example; they seem to know nothing of God's love; they spend their lives deprecating God's wrath. Now, if you live in this state, your religion is of the poorest, lowest possible description. Fear paralyses all the powers of the soul, and must be got rid of before progress can take place. The bird newly caught is afraid of everything and everybody — of the hand that feeds and caresses it: and you get no song while that fear lasts. A fresh boy in school, on the first day, is afraid of everything, and while that fear lasts he learns nothing. He cannot read or write, he can neither draw nor reckon, till the fear is gone. Now so has it ever been with men. As long as men dreaded nature they made no progress in knowledge or power. As long as men throughout the length and breadth of Europe believed that God the Father, and even Christ the Saviour, were so awful and implacable to men, that Mary, the gentle Virgin, must intercede with them for the sinful and the needy, so long could the priests make them believe whatever they chose to tell them, and make them do whatever they pleased to bid them. For fear is credulous. Everything startles it. Now those times, though called the ages of faith, were very barren of religion. Fear demoralised men. There was no joy in religion and no love. Now what is true of others is true of us. If you dread God, then you do not love Him — you cannot. In time, you are bound to hate what you dread. This fear must be got rid of. it is the work of perfect love to cast it out of the soul. "Perfect love casteth out fear." You must not be afraid to accept the broad statement that "God is love."
(J. M. Gibbon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.