To have a revelation of God's love we must "know," "understand," "recognize," "be conscious of," "experience," "believe," "adhere to," "put faith in," and "rely on" God's love—the love He "cherishes for us."

Sadly, most people don't have a revelation of this kind of love to any significant degree, and yet the Bible says in the next verse, "Herein is our love made perfect" (1 John 4:17).

We need to ask God to show us the specific barriers that keep us from receiving this kind of revelation. I know I'm not there in my own life. I still struggle conceptually with the idea of this kind of love. Intellectually, I can believe it's true. I read it in the Bible, and I believe it. But I'm talking about having a heart-revelation of this kind of love.

This is precisely at the heart of what Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers:
...that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.
(Eph. 3:17-19)
I hope there are people in your life whose love for you is such a settled issue that it's not something you ever question. You may have friends whom you can go to and ask anything, knowing they would help you in any way. It might be your mother or father, your brother or sister.

Hopefully, there's somebody whose love for you has been so consistently demonstrated that you never question it. You can go to this person even in the darkest moments of your life and they will be there for you.

God wants to be there that way for you. Most people don't have that kind of intimacy with Him. We don't have that revelation of God's love, in part, because we know ourselves better than anybody else does. We know all of our shortcomings and hang-ups—and we usually rehearse them to ourselves often.

I know how despicable I've been on occasion. I know the things I've done in my past that I'm ashamed of—some things that no one else knows about except the Lord. I know how very flawed I still am.

And sometimes it's this kind of intimacy with the Lord that makes it so hard to understand how such a holy, omniscient Being, who knows all this about me, can still love me-and without reservation.

We have to believe that God loves us this much. Our quality of life depends on it. Our ability to have a happy marriage, to enjoy quality friendships, to influence other people for God, and to cultivate relationships based on love depends upon our understanding and believing that God loves us like that.

In every relationship problem I have ever encountered as a minister, I can trace the problem back, in one form or another, to insecurity in one or both of the two parties involved. At its root is insecurity in the knowledge of God's love for them. Insecurity—to such a degree that makes it impossible for people to relate to each other—stems from an insufficient understanding of the depth of God's love for them.

The insecurity issue would be settled once and for all with a sufficient understanding of God's love, because the Bible says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:18).

Let me show you another liberating aspect of this truth. If you are tormented by fear in any form-anxiety, oppression, worry—you need a revelation of God's love for you.

Worry is fear, you know. We can't worry about something apart from fear, because worry is a form of fear. Where we identify the presence of fear in our life, we're not perfected in love. Perfect love casts out fear. Love and fear cannot coexist.

Therefore, if we're not perfected in love, it means we haven't experienced a revelation of God's love for ourselves. Think about all of this for a moment.

If you're perfected or mature in love, you won't fear. You will be one bold individual. You won't care what anybody thinks about you. With a good grasp on perfected love, you can tell people whatever they need to hear without regard for the consequences. I'm not talking about being rude or unmannerly, but being bold.

First Corinthians 13 tells us that love isn't rude. But perfected love is not fearful of rejection either. That's why it gives us the power to tell people the truth. We can become bold witnesses when we're perfected in love.

When we're perfected in love, the doctor's report doesn't cause us to go into a panic or a deep depression. When we're perfected in love, financial challenges don't cause fear to rise up in our heart.

Instead, we rejoice that we're delivered from this world's economy. When we're perfected in love, fear has no hold on our life, and we can become a world-changer.

When we're perfected in love, we'll be a person who influences other people for God.

We're not going to influence anybody in a positive way for God if our life is controlled by fear. But, thank God, perfect love casts out fear! When you get a hold of the revelation that God's love for you is unconditional, you can be as bold as a lion.

Source: Simplify Your Life by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers