Powerful Help in Overcoming Fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. —2 Timothy 1:7
This week’s Fighter Verse is a statement of what God has given believers. It follows a powerful reminder of Timothy’s godly heritage and training from his mother and grandmother. His mentor, the apostle Paul, wanted to encourage Timothy to remember what God has given him, namely the Holy Spirit and His gifts. Paul exhorted him to “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6) like stirring embers in a fire to bring out the heat and light more fully. This is done by using the gifts, exercising them, stepping out in faith, and fulfilling the ministry and calling that God gives.
Too often fear hinders people from using the gifts God has given or doing what God has commanded. That is not what God intends. We are fearful of dangers and difficulties, fearful of the reactions and opinions of others, fearful of all but Him – the One we are called to fear appropriately (Deuteronomy 6:2, 13, 24-25; 10:12-13; 17:19; 1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 103:17, 18; 112:1; 34:11; 86:11).
God gives us all we need to live the lives He calls us to (Psalm 34:9; 84:11). God didn’t give us a fearful spirit, but a powerful one, filling us with courage as we walk in step with the Holy Spirit—the Spirit is instrumental not only in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2) but in filling the believers on Pentecost resulting in thousands hearing the gospel and responding in faith (Acts 2). Think of it. That same Spirit indwells all believers (1 Timothy 1:14; John 14:16-17).
The spirit we’re given is also of love—love for God and love for others that encourages us to be bold in sharing the gospel out of compassion for their souls. We’re also given a spirit of self-control (or sound mind as in some Bible versions). When we fill our minds with biblical truth, we can rein in our thoughts to not be fearful but rather to stand firmly on the truth. We can focus on Jesus as our example (Hebrews 12:1-2) and trust Him to build such love, boldness, and discipline in our lives.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. —Hebrews 13:20-21
After Paul reminds Timothy of this gift of God—a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control—he then talked about the power of God in the gospel and how Paul himself was suffering for the sake of the gospel. This gift of God is hugely evident in the life and ministry of Paul. His mentee benefited from his example as well as his encouraging words (2 Timothy 1:13). We can take this same encouragement and challenge to live lives of power, love, and self-control, filled with the purpose of the gospel. We can pass it along to the next generations as Timothy’s mother and grandmother did. We can “not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).
What hinders you from talking about our great Savior and what He offers the world?
Where is my focus—on Christ, His mission and calling, or on my difficulties and fears?
How can I walk more in step with the Holy Spirit? Is there sin to confess or Scripture to claim