Any chance you are afraid? Any chance you have had a wave of fear wash over you this morning, this week? Any chance you’ve been thinking about your loved ones, the high risk, the exposed a bit more than usual? Any chance you’re a caregiver or essential worker just tired of it all?
Or is there a chance that you’re afraid all our freedoms are being taken away? Are you seeing children, living with masks and mandates, watch their childhood go by from behind plastic shields? Are you afraid there are less than wholesome motivations behind all the rules and restrictions?
Or is there a chance that you’ve found something else to be afraid of? Something like a sickness or disease, or a relationship or responsibility?
Aaron Burns, a wise filmmaker friend of mine, defines fear this way: “Fear is looking into the future, assuming the worst, and believing that God won’t be there with me in it.”
As always, God shares peace and wisdom in His Word. Join me in looking at 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
These life-giving words are worth reading in several different versions or adaptations. Here are three more:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV)
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (NIV)
“God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” (MSG)
Here are three of God’s gifts wrapped up for you in 2 Timothy 1:7, all of which overcome fear:
- Bold power to do what is right.
- Persistent love to share with those God brings into your life today.
- Sensible self-control to choose what is best over what is immediate or selfish.
If you happen to bump into fearful or anxious thoughts today or this week, you can give your heart the truth of God’s Word: He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. Pray yourself into freedom by praying the words God wrote for you in 2 Timothy 1:7.
God has not given you fear for this day. He has given you power. He has given you love. He has given you self-control. In Christ, these three things are yours!
“If you wake up feeling fragile, remember that God is not, and then trust Him to be everything you need today.” —John Piper
What does that look like for you today?
“Deliver me, Jesus—from the desire to be praised, honored, glorified, preferred, consulted, or approved. Deliver me, Jesus, from the fear of being humiliated, criticized, forgotten, ridiculed, maltreated, and from the fear of what others will think.
“O Jesus, give me the grace to desire that others would be loved and esteemed ahead of me, that in the eyes of the world they would increase while I decrease, and praised while I pass by unnoticed, that others would be preferred in all situations, that others would become more than myself—in order that I would be as holy as You want me to be.”
—Charles de Foucauld