Fear; February 21, 2022

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

As with many other verses in the Bible, I can’t read this without singing it, at least in my head. The particular version I’m familiar with (there may be several) not only uses “spirit of fear,” it also uses Ephesians 6:10 for the lead to the second verse, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” and as a whole, I think it would be an extremely helpful song for the Church today. The devil and those on his side have used COVID to project fear on the world, to devastating effect. It’s not that it isn’t a deadly virus for some people, but rather that the risks involved were much less than proclaimed, and effective treatments were actually forbidden in some places for political reasons. The actions that were taken “because of the virus” shifted economic and even military balances around the world, and the tool used was fear. Christians have no business yielding to that. As risk factors have become known, data has shown that, according to the CDC, 80% of fatalities were in people with “at least four co-morbidities,” in other words, other medical problems that could have killed them. And the kicker is, the prime co-morbidity was obesity! Considering current American society, it’s no wonder the fatalities were so high, but no one in government talked about the need for a healthy weight and lifestyle in relation to the virus. Fear is a natural human reaction, and it can be a lifesaver at times, but if we let it be the dominating factor in our lives it will destroy us. We need to let Paul’s words to Timothy echo in our hearts and minds and live accordingly.

This verse is particularly close to me because I also have a “Timothy” who has been injured by a spirit of fear. He is coming out of it, but the effects linger. I can identify with many of the fears that have attacked him, having experienced them myself: fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of failure. I have had to learn that rejection, ridicule, and failure may all happen – and probably will – but they are never the final answer. The same may be said of more tangible fears, such as disease or disaster, but regardless, I must not be governed by the fear of anything, except the fear of the Lord. When I am in right relationship with Him, fear leaves the picture, because as John said, He is love, (1 John 4:8) and perfect love drives out all fear. (1 John 4:18) I have the privilege and responsibility of communicating that marvelous truth in this fearful and fearsome age, for the salvation of all who will receive it.

Father, thank You for this encouraging Word. Help me walk in it indeed, today and every day, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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