Everyone is afraid of something. For me, it might be long, dark church hallways when the lights are out and no else is supposed to be in the building. At least that is how I feel right now after our Worship Pastor leaped out of a darkened doorway and hollered “Boo” at me. I have to admit, I froze in my tracks and leaned against the wall waiting for the ability to breath again.
Everyone has fears and it’s important to note that fear in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is an emotion God designed us with that can be productive and healthy when kept in balance. Fear is defined as a reaction to a threat. It can motivate us to take action or seek shelter. Fear can be a friend, or it can turn against us and become an adversary. We are designed to experience fear in short bursts, but what happens when the fear lingers? Fear that lingers turns into anxiety and can have devastating, even debilitating effects on our bodies, our mind and spirit.
Here is the good news, we don’t have to let fear rule over us. The Bible teaches us we can reverse the fear!
Here is a recap from my message “PHOBIA” preached October 29, 2017 @ Connection Point Church.
2 Timothy 1:7, (NKJV)- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
It’s important to understand who wrote this verse in the Bible. It was the Apostle Paul. It’s equally important to understand from where he wrote this verse and to whom he was writing.
Paul wrote this verse from prison in Rome. His only crime was being a bold preacher of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Imprisoned and awaiting his execution, Paul wrote this letter to a young preacher named Timothy. You would think we would be reading a letter from Timothy encouraging Paul, but what we have is the opposite. We have Paul, the imprisoned, writing a message of encouragement to Timothy, a free man.
In verse 6, Paul tells young Timothy to “stir up his gift and to remember.” It appears he has forgotten a few important truths. Why has he forgotten? Most likely due to fear since his mentor was now in prison.
Let’s remind ourselves of these 4 important truths to remember during times of fear.
- Debilitating Fear Does Not come from God.
Notice the first two words in the verse, “For God.” Paul wants to clarify Timothy’s understanding about God. Notice what comes next, “has not given us a spirit of fear.” Fear that lingers and begins to debilitate us does not come from our heavenly Father.
- RELY on God’s POWER He has placed inside of you.
Now notice what Paul says God HAS given to us. He begins with the word Power.
Before Jesus ascended, He taught His disciples – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV). The word Jesus used for power is where we get the word, dynamite.
The Apostle John understood this and wrote,- “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NIV).
When you trust Christ as your Lord, He fills you with the Holy Spirit! You become a walking package of Holy Spirit TNT.
- REST in GOD’S LOVE for you.
Next Paul says that God has given us Love. Let’s be honest, we often take God’s love for granted – don’t! Think of the power of God’s love. It was His love that brought Jesus down from heaven, to be wrapped in human flesh, go through every stage of humanity – birth to death and offer Himself as the sacrifice for sins in our place so that we may be redeemed and receive eternal life!
John would write of this love and state, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, NIV). This verse should be memorized by every follower of Jesus.
Fear thrives in the absence of love – Peace thrives in the presence of LOVE… Who is love? GOD IS LOVE! Therefore, when fear begins to grip our heart, we need to run to the presence of God in worship, prayer and saturating our minds in the Holy Scriptures and allow His presence repel the fear.
- REIGN in your MIND. Take control of your thoughts
I remember a story from when I was a child. A young girl my family knew was asked to go to the neighbors and retrieve an electric appliance, a mixer I believe. There was only one problem, it was dark and she was afraid of the dark. The story goes that as she was headed home with the mixer, she heard something rustling on the ground behind her. She peered behind her and in the moonlight she could make out the image that sent chills up and down her spine, A SNAKE. She ran. The snake chased after her. The faster she ran, the faster the snake slithered. By the time she reached the house, she was in full panic mode. Once in the door of the house in good lighting she realized that the snake was the electric cord from the mixer that had fallen down!
When you are afraid, your mind will run wild. You have to take a stand and take control of your thoughts.
Look at Isaiah 26:3, (NKJV) – “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”