Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32. In this article, we will look at the features of this verse—first, “fear not”; then, “little flock”; followed by “your Father’s good pleasure”; “to give”; and, last of all, “the kingdom.”
It says, in 1 John 4:18, “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.”
How easy it is to become fearful when we hear of the terrors and terrorists that have the world governments in a state of anger and confusion. We see and hear of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and tsunamis, as well as tragedies such as automobile accidents, airplane crashes, and man’s inhumanity to others. Then there are sicknesses and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and a host of others that attack the human body. We know that a national Sunday law is coming and also a time of trouble such as there has never been. (See “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 977; The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 3, 1002.) We might well ask ourselves the question, How do I cope?
On top of all those things, we still have to earn a living. The economy is very unstable, and job security may also be a worry. Paying the bills month-to-month is not easy. Then we must get along with a difficult neighbor or an incorrigible boss at work or even some people in the church who do not think as we do. Is there a solution? If so, what is it?
What we need to learn and to experience is the perfect love of God. We have heard that His promises are sure, and we try to believe that. We have read the text in Romans 8:28 that says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” But when the real trials come, is our faith strong enough to carry us through? It is not, unless we are really acquainted with the love of God and can sense His presence with us at all times. We need to experience His love.
“Love is a precious gift, which we receive from Jesus.” Messages to Young People, 435. All love comes from God. We must ask for it, for he that asks receives. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7. We must ask for love by spending time on our knees, talking with God.
“Love is a [tender] plant of heavenly growth, and it must be fostered and nourished.” The Adventist Home, 50. Love must be cultivated and nourished to flourish. We must care for the gift of love by studying the character of God until His attributes, His love, become a part of us.
If we are going to have a perfect love that casts out fear, we must ask for and receive the gift of love; then culture and nourish it daily.
As a Flower
When we, in our mind’s eye, view Jesus on the cross, we need to realize how terrible that was and that He did not have to do it. He came to earth and suffered and died on the cross because of the heaven-born love He had in His heart for you and for me. When we begin to count all of the blessings He has given to us, love for God wells up in our hearts, and we are ready to do anything for Him. He puts love in our hearts for our fellow beings, and if we will practice that love and keep up our relationship with Jesus, we will grow in love until we have perfect peace.
We must establish the habit of talking to God about everything—even when in a crowd of people, we can still lift up our hearts to Him. When we learn to turn to God for help in all things, our faith and love will grow. We should learn to turn to Him to give thanks and to ask for help, just as the flower turns to the sun. “We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts may turn to God as naturally as the flower turns to the sun.” The Signs of the Times, December 16, 1889.
As we get into the habit of talking to our Heavenly Father about everything, realizing that His presence is by our side at all times, our love and faith will grow, until one day we will reach perfection. We will be prepared to stand without a mediator after probation closes. “As a flower turns to the sun that its bright rays may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should Christ’s followers turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven’s light may shine upon them, perfecting their characters, and giving them a deep and abiding experience in the things of God.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 22, 1898.
A member of Steps to Life’s staff, Ruth Grosboll is a retired registered nurse. She worked for many years with her husband in the mission field. She may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.