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July 15, 2016

Standing Up to Fear

“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)

Are you driven by fear?  There are both healthy and unhealthy fears.  A healthy fear is a fear of God that means reverential awe and respect for God as God in your life.  Proverbs 1:7 says that kind of fear is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.  Unhealthy fears distort the image of God in our minds and prevent us from enjoying the freedom and confidence in Christ that is ours as His children.

Paul didn’t want his young protégé, Timothy, paralyzed by fear.  Timothy was a young pastor in a violent culture where Christianity was far from being politically correct.  In fact, just admitting you were a Christian, much less being a pastor, could result in persecution and death from both the secular and religious world of his day.  Paul knew Timothy’s foundation of faith and the spiritual gifts he possessed to pastor.  He encouraged Timothy to be courageous and “fan into flame the gift of God” which was in him.

What’s holding you back from becoming all that God wants you to be?  Are you afraid you may fail or of what others may think?  Thankfully, unlike Timothy, we really don’t have to fear the kind of physical persecution that threatened him. Still, other fears can prevent us from realizing God’s best in our lives.  Consider what Paul told Timothy again.  “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 

If you are afraid, one thing is for sure.  That fear did not come from God.  Stand up to it with the spirit of love, power, and sound mind that God has given you and conquer your fears!  Courage isn’t the absence of fears.  It is moving ahead in spite of them.

“How grateful I am, God, that You have not given me a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind.  I no longer have to let fear control me.  I am free in Christ to be all that You want me to be.”