This verse explains that if we live in fear it is because we don't know how much we are loved. We do not generally associate our fears with not knowing God's love. However fear tells us we are not convinced that God will look after us. Fear tells us we are not fully persuaded that God's ways are better than our ways. Fear tells us we believe God's protection is based on our performance. However the truth is, his love is based on his character, not our performance.
Some use this freedom to sin, thinking that their actions don't matter because God loves them anyway, but God's intention is that the knowledge of his great love will motive us to live righteously and free us from fear.
We no longer fear the future when we realize that because God loves us he will never allow anything to cross our paths that will not ultimately benefit us. We no longer fear the past when we realize that because God loves us he has forgiven us all our sins, even those committed in ignorance (Hebrews 9:7,14). We no longer fear the present when we realize that because God loves us he will enable us to face each new day. Therefore we can let go of our fears and open our hearts to receive his love. Blaise Pascal is credited with saying, "If you knew, really knew, how much God loved you, not one fear would remain in your heart".
Let us "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:18) and be set free from all our fears.
Courage is not the absence of fear but a willingness to trust our heavenly father and allow His love to motivate us. We may be in danger because we are willing to do this, but at least we know He is with us. Besides, life is dangerous anyway and we have no control over what can happen. We can play it safe and still end up in trouble. ONLY God can keep the promise that "ALL THINGS will work together for good to them that love God" but only we can make the decision to actually trust Him in real situations and so prove that He does what He says. Thanks for the reminder that we are called to live by faith not fear. It may not be easy but it is straight forward.