Where faith abounds . . . love abounds. And love drives out fear.
But alone we cannot manufacture faith or love. Those who claim to love others but do not love God are liars. Love of God--which follows faith in God--is a gift of God. It must be bestowed, for there is no love in us except that which God provides. And faith comes first, which also is a gift from God.
And he who claims to love God but does not love His brother . . . is a liar. He who loves God loves His brother. Which is really not that hard to do--even to love enemies . . . because all we need is to settle our minds down and recall . . . how God loved us even while we were His enemies and hated Him. We see how merciful He is--how He provides for even those who war against Him continually. Those who don't want God but want the world and all the pleasures of the world . . . He provides for and allows to achieve their desires. They obtain their lusts, their adulteries, their thefts, their lying and stealing and amassing wealth and power with much greed. He does not cut them off immediately, though He rightly could; but He continues to give them air and water and sun and energy and minds and muscles . . . so that they can pursue and attain their worldly dreams.
"But wait," someone says, "not everyone who desires the world gets what they want. A good portion are frustrated and kept from attaining their carnal pursuits. What about these? How is God merciful to these who want fame and riches but end up in poverty and ignominy?"
Yet all we can say is this only shows more of God's mercy and wisdom. For the way of the world is the way of sin . . . and the way of sin is death. God Has His children among the throngs who pursue the flesh, and when some of these are tempted to likewise got he way of the flesh . . . He mercifully prevents and protects them. Instead, out of His divine wisdom and mercy He brings affliction and trials to His elect so that they will not go the way of the world . . . to final judgment and wrath but instead will be purified, refined in the fires of testing and trying; that their faith will grow strong and lose falsities . . . which then brings an abundance of love . . . which casts out fear . . . so that, while those of the world secretly mourn and fret and dread the final judgment despite their riches and "success", the children of God grow in strength, peace, wisdom, hope, joy, righteousness. . . .
The opportunity to prove and improve one's faith . . . which (faith) is a key that unlocks spiritual doors . . . are many . . . every day . . . and is the surest preparation one can always seek and obtain when troubled times are portended. . . .