Paul’s second letter to Timothy begins with a beautiful assertion: “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).
As we embark on our sermon series exploring fear, worry, and anxiety, this verse serves as our compass, reminding us of the character of the Spirit God has gifted us with. This Spirit is not one of fear, but it is bold, loving, and clear-minded, enabling us to face the trials and uncertainties life throws our way.
The term ‘spirit of fear’ does not refer to a mere moment of fear or occasional worry. It implies a state of being, an ongoing condition that colors our perspective and decision-making. It’s this deeper fear that God reassures us, through Paul, that He has not burdened us with. Instead, He has endowed us with His Spirit – the Spirit of power, love, and self-control.
God’s Spirit empowers us to face our fears and worries head-on, not because of our inherent strength, but because of His divine enablement. Love, as John tells us, drives out fear (1 John 4:18). A love for God, a profound understanding of His love for us, and a love for others can all help us overcome fear.
The ‘sound mind’ (or ‘self-control’, ‘discipline’ as some translations put it) that God promises us in the face of fear is about maintaining clarity amidst the chaos. Fear often clouds our judgment, but the Spirit helps us to remain rational, focused, and balanced.
As we delve into this series, may this verse remind us of the resources God has given us to overcome fear, worry, and anxiety.
Wonder in the Word
How can remembering that God has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-control help you confront your fears and worries?