There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
There is no fear in love. God loves each and every one of His children. He does not fear us, nor does He want us to fear Him. Yes, we are to fear Him in regard to showing Him respect. This is not the type of "fear" that is being referred to here in this passage. The type being referred to here is that of being scared and afraid.
But perfect love drives out fear. Who alone is perfect? Jesus is. Jesus' love for us can help us to drive out any fears we may have. All we need do is to give Him our trust and faith. He will not hurt us or harm us...He loves us! If we put our trust in the Lord, He will help us to stand up to our fears and face them. This will make us stronger, and will help us to deal with other fears we will face in the future. It will help us to know that we can face them and overcome them with the help of Jesus.
Because fear has to do with punishment. As children, we were punished by our parents for being bad. I am not referring here to those who were abused in one way or another by their parents. I am referring to disobeying our parents which would result in punishment such as being spanked, grounded, having privledges taken away, or however else our parents may have punished us. I think one reason we fear the Lord is that we know we have done wrong, that we have disobeyed and committed sins. It is natural to think that He is going to punish us and we think the worst at those times. Yes, He will punish us, but He does it with love. We sin, and therefore are responsible for that. We need to realized that we will have to pay the consequences for what we do. For example, we steal money from the bank, we know we will pay the consequence of going to jail; we take part in sexual activity outside of marriage, we may have to pay the consequence of a disease or maybe pregnancy...the list goes on. The Lord does not want us to fear Him in regard to this. He wants us to know and understand and accept that He will punish us for our sins, but He punishes out of love...so that we will respect Him and turn away from the sins we commit. If we realize that we will be punished for our sins, maybe that is a way to help us to turn away fro them...also remember that this process also helps us to grow in our spiritual walk with Him.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We are not perfect, and we do fear things, people and situations. I do not think there is a person alive who does not fear one thing or another at one time. We come up to a situation we have never been through, and we fear possible outcomes. Storms pop up and we fear that our house may be hit by lightning. We come across a snake and fear being bitten (even if we know it isn't a harmful type)...again, the list goes on of what we may fear. The point is, Jesus Christ is made perfect in love. He does not fear, and if we trust in Jesus, there is no need for us to fear. I think we will always fear something, but I believe that if we trust in Him, He can and will help us to stand up to those fears and overcome them. Then we will know that when faced with those situations or people again, we will not fear them because we will know we overcame them previously, and can overcome them again...with the help of Jesus Christ.
I would like to note that satan thrives on our fear. He wants us to be afraid. When we are fearful, we are not trusting in God, and not doing His work. Satan loves for that to happen! Don't let satan win over your life...don't let him thrive on your fear. As it says in James 4:7 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you." I believe that doing this will cause satan to flee from us, and thus our fears will cease as well.