To Be Free, Remember God’s Promises - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - April 17, 2022
To Be Free, Remember God’s Promises
By Rick Warren
“We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them . . . No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.” 1 John 4:16, 18 (GW)
Fear never gives you a life of freedom. It always limits you! You may call it worry or anxiety, but the results are the same. It’s a prison of fear.
Even when Jesus rose from the dead on the very first Easter, fear locked the disciples away from how God wanted to use them.
John 20:19 says, “That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews” (GW). After Jesus died, the disciples locked themselves in a house because they believed the religious leaders might come after them next. But those doors didn’t just keep the Jewish authorities out of their lives. It kept everyone else out, too.
Fear always locks people out of your life. You fear getting hurt again, so you don’t let anyone close to you. But you can’t have love without risking hurt.
So how do you escape your prison of fear so you can get close to people again? You don’t do it through a self-help book. Only God can break you out.
God does this when you:
1. Remember how much God loves you.
You need to do this every time you start to panic and get afraid. Remember that “God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them . . . No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love” (1 John 4:16, 18 GW).
When you invite God’s love into your life, fear cannot take up residence anymore. Love and fear can’t stay together! The more you accept God’s love the less afraid— and the more confident and courageous and stronger—you’ll be.
2. Remember God has a plan for you.
God’s plan is always good. Bad things might happen in your life, but that’s not God’s plan. The Bible tells us, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan” (Romans 8:28 GW).
God specializes in bringing good out of bad. He turns crucifixions into resurrections! The disciples responded in fear and despair to Jesus’ death on the cross, but God brought good—the salvation of humanity—out of it.
God’s plan for you is good. No matter what happens, he will turn it into something good.
Seeing Jesus and understanding his love for them brought the disciples out from behind locked doors. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember God’s promises to you. Then, you’ll be free to rest in his love and open your life to loving others.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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