This morning I want your minds to dwell upon the subject of Fear—the emotion or feeling of being afraid of someone, of something, of some idea, of being afraid of loss, of criticism, or of something which you believe to be a threat or menace to you or to something which you value.
Fear is the most destructive of all the emotions, and most of the other emotions which destroy the soul, such as jealousy, hatred and avarice, spring from fear.
Fear destroys happiness. Fear destroys peace of mind.
Fear eats into the heart and mind and spirit, and gradually warps and twists and finally destroys it. Fear is the enemy of life.
How can we overcome fear?
We can find the answer, as we can find the answer to all our problems if we will, in the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "Perfect love casteth out fear." What did he mean?
Fear is rejection. When we are afraid of something we reject it, we try to run away from it, whether it is a person, a thing, a duty to be performed, or an idea. Fear is an absence of faith. We have no faith in the thing of which we are afraid.
You can easily see this if you consider, as an example, the fear of failure. For fear of failure is really a rejection of the idea of success, it is an absence of faith in success, an absence of faith in yourself and in your ability and will to succeed. If you have faith or confidence in success you cannot fear failure. Faith and fear are opposites. Faith brings life; fear, death, and faith and love are the same thing, for you cannot love a person or thing or idea unless you have faith in it. And if you have faith in it and love it you will not fear it. "Perfect love casteth out fear."
Why is this? How is this? Whilst your fear rejects things, pushes them away from you, love does the opposite. Love embraces, draws things to you. What then must you do, when you are afraid, to overcome your fear? Instead of rejecting, running away from the thing which you fear, you must, by means of an act of faith, go out to meet it, to embrace it, to draw it to you in confidence and affection, in other words you must love it. And if you do this you can see that fear will already have disappeared. Fear cannot live where love is, because you cannot reject and run away from something whilst you are embracing and drawing it to you. "Perfect love casteth out fear."
And do not imagine that you can only feel the emotion of love towards people. You can, and must, love everything that is. Not only must you love everybody, but you must love everything you see, and touch, and know. If you do this, not only will fear disappear from your life, but both you, and the people and things you love will be transformed. For love is life, where fear is death. And "perfect love casteth out fear."