Fearful or Courageous?
Have you ever felt fearful and powerless, needing courage?
Perhaps you’ve been shaken by rejection and fear to try again. You keep trying, but your best isn’t good enough. Maybe you lived out your faith in a tough situation, but faced criticism. These are just a few situations that cause us to withdraw with timidity.
Powerlessness and timidity lead to fearfulness.
The Word reminds us to look to the Lord for confidence in such times. 2 Timothy 1:7 says
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
The spirit of timidity means cowardice or fearfulness. This does not come from the Lord. It is easy to let our internal conversation talk us out of doing something bold or difficult. We prefer to stay in our relational comfort zones. When we need to step out in confidence, we have the promise that God when we trust His power and love.
Three things are promised in this verse:
First we are promised ‘a spirit of power.’ The Greek word for power is dynamis, the same word from which we derive ‘dynamite.’ This supernatural power is not a scary explosive. It is the confidence that enables the Christ follower to go forward when the natural reaction is to withdraw. It is available through prayer. Times of prayer don’t have to be deep and lengthy; the short ‘arrow’ prayers breathed for a specific need can also bring power. Sometimes the power enables us to speak up for ourselves or take a stand for faith. Other times it calms us down when life is out of control. By God’s grace we have His power.
Next we are promised ‘a spirit of love.’ This is agape love, which is one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is a love that puts others first. It is self giving love, but not the self-pitying mindset of the victim.We have the promise that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). We rely on His power to show God’s love in difficult situations.
The final part of the verse promises ‘a spirit of self discipline.’ This is a sound mind, being calm with sound judgment. Whether it dealing with fussy children or a difficult person at work, remember to remain level headed and keep calm. Prayerfully think things through before acting. God’s power lets us love and show sound judgment.
The next time you feel timid, fearful, or powerless, remember the promise of this verse for power, love, and a sound mind. This gives us hope, empowering us to live with confidence and courage.
Are you fearful or courageous? The choice is yours.