By Shelly Burke
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim. 1:7
What are you afraid of today?
Perhaps your financial situation is not stable or you have overwhelming debt or are in danger of losing your job.
Maybe you’re worried about test results, or a family member or friend suffering from a disease or illness.
Are you apprehensive about a relationship that is going through a hard time? Maybe a child is making bad decisions in his or her life and you fear the consequences, or your marriage is rocky with the future uncertain.
It is normal to have a healthy fear of things that could, realistically, happen. In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul writes to Timothy from a Roman prison; Timothy could be persecuted and imprisoned as well, for his preaching. But God does not want us to live with a spirit of fear; fear is not to dominate our emotions.
Paul says that God gave us a spirit…of “power and love and self-control.”
We are not powerless in the face of fear; we have power in our faith, in prayer, and in action appropriate to the situation. Remember, “I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). We cannot do it through our own power, but through the power the Lord gives us.
We are to have a spirit of love. We can love the person who has done wrong; we can ask the Lord to show us how to do so through His love for us.
And we are to have self-control. Even when we cannot control a situation, we can control how we react to it. Rather than lose control or react in anger, we can count to 10, or not say a word. Rather than withdraw in fear, we can reach out to Christian friends and ask for prayer. Rather than sit helplessly we can open our Bibles and read God’s word, and ask Him to take away our fear.
You are not alone in facing your fears. We are never, ever alone, even during the times that we are the most afraid. God says, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One Who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13