For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
Today, many people face more fear than at any other time in their lives. Crises of all kinds, and so much misinformation, have emotionally exhausted us. The world has never seemed as foreboding. Yet fear is nothing new in this life. Fear is present from the early days of humanity’s story and throughout the pages of Scripture. While fear may always be a part of our lives, how we respond to it is what matters. All of us must learn not to give in to terror. The devil brings dread, but you can choose not to bow your knee to it. God has given us the weapons of power, love, and a sound mind to face and overcome our fears.
Power is inherent to God’s nature. Seeking His power is necessary, or we’re in danger of having a form of godliness and no power (2 Timothy 3:5). God is extravagant with His love but careful with His might. We have the power of God residing and working in us (Ephesians 3:20). And another power level is available when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8). We have a degree of power on hand all the time, but the authority to access and use it is in measure. The experience of power is dangerous. It can corrupt and destroy lives. That is why in the Scriptures, we see the people most known for operating in power, such as Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Paul, and Peter, spent years being grounded and developed by God before He entrusted them with great power.
When we live in fear, love is limited in our hearts, which gives space for anxiety. Fear is powerful but is powerless against love. When we give God our worries, He replaces them with love (1 John 4:18). The Apostle John identified himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved because He deeply knew the Lord’s love. Jesus loved the other disciples, but they did not know His love like John. We see this contrasted in how Peter behaved as the time drew near for Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter told the Lord, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” (Matthew 26:35) Yet he did – three times. While Peter focused on his love for Christ, John concentrated on Christ’s love for Him. Peter gave into fear, but John was at the foot of the cross, receiving instructions from the Lord as He died. You will never lack purpose when you focus your life on His love for you.
The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. We create a space for fear, anxiety, depression, and illness to root through uncontrolled thinking. We can make ourselves sick with our thoughts. Research shows that fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones in our bodies. The answer is to learn how to think in a new way. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2). Notice the “good, pleasing, and perfect” feelings that flow from God’s will for us do not come first. Instead, a changed way of thinking must come first. In other words, the right feelings follow the right way of thinking. And God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to teach us how to think His thoughts over our lives.
Many Blessings, BW