Sunday, March 16, 2008

Verse of the week -- Have no Fear!

I have been thinking a bit about fear this week, after last week's verse of the week, and how it relates to and impacts our Christian walk. It struck me that fear spills into our lives in a variety of ways. We fear the unknown when we worry. We fear failure when we stay quiet. We fear we made mistakes when we doubt. We fear potential mistakes when we avoid action. We fear not getting everything done when we allow stress to rule our thoughts. Sometimes fear motivates us, but not in healthy ways. It may motivate us to do what is right, but without the right reasons. We may homeschool out of fear, buy insurance out of fear, invest our money out of fear, eat healthy food out of fear, join ministries out of fear, and guard our children out of fear.

Then, I started recalling verse after verse in which God says, “Don’t fear!” He said it to Joshua, the people of Israel, Mary, the Shepherds, and many others. One of my favorite ‘don’t fear’ verses is in II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” When one of my children walk into my room in the middle of the night, quietly whimpering over a bad dream that woke them we call on the power of that verse together. It brings great comfort in the middle of the night, when the darkness holds us tight and the fear seems to ooze in through our skin. God did not give us that spirit of fear. He gives us power! He gives us love (perfect love casts out fear, remember?) He gives us a sound mind. A sound mind erases so many fears. I rarely see the same child twice in one night after that verse is prayed over our fears.

I felt compelled to look at that verse again this week, in context. Paul encourages Timothy for his sincere, solid faith, passed down to him from his mother and grandmother. He then challenges Timothy to keep stirring up the gift of God, because “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

We should not stay quiet and let the gifts God has given us go to ruin. What gifts has God given you? Children, ministries, spiritual gifts, salvation? I had always put this verse in the context of scary dreams, which it fits powerfully. However, how much do I hide or squander the gifts that God has given me out of fear, instead of taking hold of them by His power, love and soundness of mind?

Paul doesn’t let up. He then commands – don’t be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord. A healthy fear only fears God, the beginning of knowledge. He, God, has saved us and called us to action. We have no reason to be ashamed or fearful because we know who we serve.

This week I desire God’s power, love and sound mind to control my actions, attitudes, and thoughts. Fear not!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

~II Timothy 1:7~

1 comment:

moofam said...

This is very profound....I tend towards being ruled by fear. The older I get the more I see how trusting God frees us from the devil's trap. Thank the Lord for His goodness and mercy KNOWING that he loves us no matter what and wants the best for us( and knows what is best for us!)