II Timothy 1:7- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I hate fear. It really annoys me. It is paralyzing, intimidating, harassing, and frustrating to name just a few descriptive words and more significantly it is a spirit. (II Timothy 1:7) Even with these graphic words a clear picture of what fear does to a person is not really revealed. It takes your breath away at one moment and turns you into a creeping, skulking, wretch the next. I hate fear. I hate what it does to me and I hate what it does to other people.
The interesting thing about fear is that it changes as we get older. The theme of our fear may change but the torment remains the same. When I was a little girl I was afraid the sun would fall (it hasn’t…yet) and I was really afraid that my older brothers would lock me in the bathroom or barn or some other scary place. While the first fear never materialized the second fear came true way too often and to my brothers delight I screamed and cried like a baby. While those fears left no lingering results…or did they? Other more ‘grown-up’ fears seem to take a toll on our very being.
Since fear is a ‘spirit’ the only way to fight spiritual battles is spiritually. Now I know that is not great revelation but sometimes we do forget some of our basic teachings and foundations from years gone by. If God has not given us a spirit of fear what has He given us?
He has given us power – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you. (Acts 1:8)
He has given us love – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. (I John 4:18)
He has given us a sound mind – …we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16)
We must fight spiritual battles with the spiritual weapons (truths)that He has provided.
I remember, as a young Christian one of the very first scriptures I memorized. Let me encourage you with it now.
Isaiah 41:9-10 – …Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
We are always trying to make sense of the messes that present themselves to us in maddening regularity. We, in our narrow and limited attempts, try to understand the 'why' of the thing. But the truth is this...it doesn't matter ‘what’ the mess is, He is there…not just in the middle of it, but over, under, and all around it; and He will take you ‘through’ it! He promised! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2
I know most of us would prefer immediate deliverance from the mess or challenge, or situation, or whatever the circumstances but God has His reasons and purposes! He never seems in a hurry either! If we could resign ourselves from the need to understand the reason we could move forward and trust Him for the purpose.
I read this statement sometime ago, “something wonderful survives everything terrible!” We need to embrace that truth...whatever is left from our season of challenge will be beautiful...because it survived...and not only 'it' survived, WE survived! We cannot reason, understand, or even imagine all that God has for us as we walk out His purposes without every getting or even needing, an explanation of ‘why.’
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him. I Corinthians 2:9
You may or may not need this book, but I guarantee you know someone who does. If misfortune in life is trying to destroy you or someone you know, I have wonderful news for you: this book will help you keep living.