“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
I would imagine that you heard of the senseless, random murders that happened right here in Kalamazoo. This is the kind of thing that you never think would happen in your own town. For goodness sake, we’re mid-westerner’s-- we’re family people, community-minded, hardworking, everyday Americans. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen in a place like this. But it did...right here on a typical Saturday night. How did this happen? Why did it happen? What are we to do now?
Well one thing we can do is we can choose to fear not! Did you know that the New Testament is full of admonitions to fear not? Every wonder why? It has to be because fear is our natural reaction when things like this happen. So God’s goal for us is to always put our trust and our confidence in Him. Today’s text helps us to see four amazing truths. (1) God did not give us a spirit of fear, (2) He gave us power, (3) He gave us love, (4) He gave us a sound mind.
(1) The first truth we see is that fear does not come from God. Once we are born-again, we are no longer subjects to the fear of death, because according to the Word of God we have already passed from death to life (1 John 3:4). We shouldn’t be living with a fear of death, because for us death has lost its sting. Truthfully, we can’t die, because the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. We are alive and will always be alive...forever! Isn’t that awesome?! Sure, our bodies have a life span, and for some of us that life span may be cut short, but our spirits are alive unto God and we will live forever. The Bible tells us that Jesus became one of us and took our place on the cross for the purpose of freeing us from the fear of death. Listen to how the writer of Hebrews puts it:
“Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” Hebrew 2:14-15 NLT
I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that we don’t have to be slaves to the fear of dying.
(2) The second truth is that God has given us power. Power to live life to the fullest, each and every day. Life is a gift, and something that we should enjoy every day. He gave us the power to learn, to grow, to stretch beyond our limits and the power of imagination. He gave us the power to change, the power to conquer the impossible and He gave us the power to forgive. He gave us power to overcome any and all obstacles of life. How is all of this possible? Simple, He gave us His power. He is not expecting us to do this in our own strength, but in His. Listen to what God said in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” We have the ability to tap into God’s supernatural power to face any difficulties in life.
(3) The third truth is God has given us love. The Bible reminds us that we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Love is the most powerful tool in our toolbox of life. Hate tears us apart. We’ve all seen the damage that hate causes when it runs amuck. But God has called us to love each other. He even calls us to love our enemies. How is that possible? Well in our own abilities it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. So my word of encouragement is don’t give up on your fellow man. Of course be wise in all situations but let’s not start looking for what’s wrong in other people, let’s start seeing what’s right.
(4) Finally, the fourth truth is that God has given us a sound mind. He gave us the ability as we put our trust in Him, to have our thought-life under control. We don’t have to let our minds wander into anxious places or become full of fearful thoughts. We can actually have our thoughts directed toward peace. Listen to what God tells us:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8 NLT
Instead of being dominated by fear, let’s trust God, and align our thinking to the promises we find in His word, and let them bring us great peace and comfort. Fear not!
Say It: “Father, I refuse to let fear dominate my life. I choose to place my trust in You. You’ve not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind. Your peace guards my heart and my mind, and I choose to think about what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”