Last week, Hannah and I read 1 John 4:18 in our Bible reading and discussion. I was reminded by the great trial that the Lord had mercifully seen me through, and I told her about that. In this case, I can say that the opposite of love is not hate but fear.
For a long time, I didn’t know peace, mental strength, and brilliant inspiration. There was a long winter in my saved life that peace eluded me and a disquieted mind was all I had as a companion all day. Years ago, I read books about people who went through long and tortuous episodes of depression and/or mental illness. Two of these books that I read, the authors of which were both accomplished female medical doctors. But even with dosages of strong pills, they couldn’t triumph over what was ailing them: an unquiet mind.
What did I have? I wouldn’t really call it depression, because I gained much comfort from soaking in the Word. Maybe it is more apt to call it extreme fearfulness and nervousness. This dreadful affliction enveloped me for a long time: two years, while I was at the same time grasping for relief and healing from my debilitating illness that brought me much physical suffering. It was gone when I became pregnant with Tim, but it came back months after I delivered him.
It was a kind of fear that gnawed at your brain constantly, unrelentingly. Even if you knew that what the demon of fear was whispering over and over was a lie, you were weak against it, you would listen and rebut him repeatedly, like you were really trying to persuade yourself about what you were saying. It was nervousness that tightly clung to you and couldn’t be shaken off. It attacked whenever, wherever – on the road with noisy car motors running, telephone ringing, a document on the table… It felt like your life was constantly threatened, that someone, something, was finally coming to get you and you would be helpless and miserable.
This affliction made me think about negative things throughout the day ’til night. It stole much of my sleep. I wrestled hard with it. There were only weariness, sighing, fearing, trembling, weakening. It was mental anguish that was more debilitating than any other disease. Even when there was triumph, an answered prayer, a miracle, the demon of fear, slick and sure, would sow doubts and whisper lies, “It is not true. It is not a blessing. It will turn out worse than before, you’ll see.”
I know now that it was God’s fiery trial. Remember Job? He was very sick, and yet at night when he thought he could find relief in sleep, he was frightened by night visions.
Like Job, I clung to my Redeemer, that even if He killed me, yet I would rely on Him, and believed and trusted that after He had tried me, I would shine forth as gold.
I did not resort to drugs to heal me. No medical doctor saw me or evaluated me. I went through the dark valley believing and trusting that the Lord would eventually heal me and deliver me from my afflictions. He was my strength, my light, my hope, my Healer.
And I ate, chewed, and digested 1 John 4:18 like a miracle drug. In the midst of great fearfulness, I couldn’t fully understand it, but I believed in it, prayed it, and hoped in its power.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
John knew exactly what fear was! Fear involves torment. He couldn’t be nearer the truth! So, I gave myself to studying the Word. How could I be perfected, completed in love? I knew that I had received the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit indwelt me, what was there left to do? I yielded myself to His will, the fiery trial, and continued to serve Him faithfully, steadfastly.
I cannot say exactly when God finally turned my captivity. Slowly, day by day, I was farther and farther away from the afflictions that had made me captive, and nearer and nearer to peace and gladness of heart.
One day, I just woke up with a healed mind, renewed and strong and bursting with inspiration! The Lord Jesus heals the body as well as the mind! If you are a child of God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and are sick, there is really no need to depend on drugs and pills to heal your sick mind or body. He casts out demons, even legions! (Mark 5:9)
If we believe that He has liberated our sin-captive souls on the day of salvation, we can also believe that He can liberate our fear-captive minds! And He will! Only His love can complete us, and if we have been completed in His perfect love, fear has no place in us.
These words are His testimony; I don’t know of any other thing that could better prove that His Word is true and powerful, His promises He faithfully keeps, and you can rely on them with your life.
My gratitude list ~ the gifts I’m thankful to the Lord for:
41. Tim eating and doing well after his sickness.
42. Hannah’s joy and radiance while she shared her wonderful experiences during their class’ field trip and her beautiful photos from it!
43. Taking pictures of flowers, trees, and fruits around the neighborhood; God’s marvellous creation beautifully captured in my camera!
44. Healing, peace, joy, inspiration – all of God’s miraculous workings!
45. Tim smiling in abandon before my camera, like the sunshine itself!
46. Looking at big sister (Hannah) and little brother (Tim) holding hands going into the bookstore.
47. Fresh veggies – okra, eggplant, bitter melon – harvested from our garden.
48. Morning devotions: Scriptures, daily devotional books, praise, prayer = His Presence and Peace!
I’m linking up with these lovely blogs.
Journey with Jesus,