** For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ** 2Timothy 1:7
We are all familiar with this verse. Fear does not come from God, but power, love and clear thinking does.
The context for this verse has to do with sharing the gospel and using the gifts and message that God has given us for His glory. In my Spanish Bible, fear is translated-cobardia- cowardliness. God has not given us a spirit of cowardliness. It seems a bit more direct and a bit painful, no?
I think we can apply this verse to other situations as well. Not just to sharing the gospel.
Are we fearful or cowardly in restoring relationships? In forgiving and moving past old heartaches? Are we afraid to make the first move in improving a damaged relationship?
Are we fearful to step out in faith and trust the Lord for a tough problem we are going through?
Are we fearful regarding our children’s challenges and future? That’s a tough one for me. Always has been.
Later on in 1 Timothy 1, Paul reminds Timothy that he has the Holy Ghost to help him overcome his fears.
The courage that is needed to share the gospel with those who do not want to hear it, or to suffer for speaking up as Timothy was worried about, comes from the Holy Spirit of God. We can speak to others with more peace and ease when we put our thoughts and words in His Hand. Power, love and a sound mind are all evidence of the Spirit working in us. It is evidence that we are more concerned with doing what is right before God instead of being afraid of people’s reactions.
In our last several posts we talked about our relationship with the Lord and how that manifests with other people. Over time, years really, the practice of putting every situation in the Lord’s Hands dissipates our fears. We see what the Lord does when we lean on Him and ask for His help. That increases our faith, and lessens our fears. Because we know that He will continue to be there for us, every time!
If overcoming fear of others opinions or reactions is one of our weak areas, all we need to do is be patient with the growth process that the Lord is doing in us. Maybe we are not fearless today. But my guess is that each of us is more fearless today than we were a year ago, or five years ago, or ten.
All we need to do is keep putting our fears in His Hands and He will be fearless for us through His Spirit in us. Over time, our fears will disappear one by one and we will be more fruitful in our sharing of the gospel and in facing any situation that needs a bit of courage to overcome.