For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
Fear. What does it do to us? It convinces us that God is not going to take care of the concerns of our heart. Fear states that those we love are doomed. Fear informs us our circumstances will never change, and God will not come to our rescue. Fear convinces us that we can't hear God. Fear fills our heart with dread that financial loss will destroy us. Fear makes us believe that our broken family will never be restored. Fear insists that the ones we love are going to die. The lies of fear go on and on. What fear really does is weaken our faith in the faithfulness of God, and makes us unable to believe the promises found in His Word.
Fear in this verse in 2 Timothy is referred to as the “spirit of fear”. The opposite to a “spirit of fear” would be the “spirit of faith”. Both faith and fear are rock-solid beliefs. Faith is the result of surrendering our will to God's will; it is the result of surrendering our spirit to His Spirit. Fear is the result of allowing the destructive evil spirit that fosters fear to control our thoughts. Faith says that God should be in control of our thoughts. But the enemy torments us with fear. He gains ground because of our lack of trust in God's faithfulness. When fear reigns our minds are filled with thoughts we can't control. Our thoughts are all over the place—not focused by faith on God (Isaiah 26:3). It is impossible for faith and fear to exist together. One will be prevalent over the other, and ultimately win.
Fear springs from a doubting mind. “You must come to God,” James writes, “with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord. [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]” (James 1:6-8, AMPC). If you doubt God, then you are double-minded. Fear wishes to destroy your faith by making you “unstable, unreliable, and uncertain” about everything. As the result of your double-mindedness, fear grabs you, and wrecks your life. However, if you exercise faith, you can discover peace. When faced with circumstances over which you have no control, you will have His power, love, and a sound mind.
As Christians we know we ought to believe God is faithful to His children. So often we allow doubts and fears to make His faithfulness hard to believe. The Word says that a double minded person should not expect to receive anything from Him. Well, we don't have to be double minded. We don’t have to be fearful. We can learn to capture our thoughts and make them obedient to God's Word. This verse in 2 Timothy provides weapons to defeat doubt and fear. Tomorrow let's begin the journey to make fear a torment of the past and to discover powerful faith that sets us free.
Lynn Hampton Lacher