“For God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”
To be human is to feel fear. It has been part of the human condition since the fall – Adam and Eve hid from God; they were afraid because they were naked.
The Bible talks about good fear: fear of God, who is perfect in justice and righteousness and who is judge of all the earth. But for the Christian, that fear of God is reverence and respect, because Jesus took our judgement.
There is also a wise fear: you would be right to be afraid of a lion which has escaped from the zoo and to stay in your home. God has made us with wisdom to protect ourselves from danger.
But there is a fear that is not good. It can be fear of things that we cannot control, fear of the future, fear of trials, fear of doing what is right. This kind of fear stops us serving the Lord and trusting Him.
It is this kind of fear that is spoken of in today’s verse. Timothy was afraid of doing his ministry; he was afraid of persecution. But this kind of fear doesn’t come from God… “He gave us a spirit not of fear.”
He wants you to trust Him. Christians don’t need to be terrified of the future, terrified of Covid, or terrified of being faithful to God.
What do we do with fear?
- First, we need to recognise that any fear that is stopping us serving the Lord is not from Him.
- Second, we need to bring that fear to Him. Confess it.
- Third, we need to remind ourselves that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is not a Spirit of fear.
- Finally, we need, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to stand on who our God is (see yesterday’s devotional), and His great and precious promises in His word.
Christian, whatever the world and the devil throw at you, you can trust and serve your God and Saviour without fear.