Be strong! Don’t fear!

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV)

I have never really thought before about fear being a spirit. It certainly can influence me. Fear keeps me from doing a lot of things. Fear makes me realize my limitations, my ignorance and all my short comings and that there are so many. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells me that these feelings are not from God. Instead God gives me a spirit of power, a spirit of love and a spirit of discipline. From Romans 8:15 I learn that fear leads to slavery and bondage. Paul wrote, “You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as His children. With this Spirit, we cry, Abba, Father.” As a child of God my Father wants me to live in freedom knowing He has given me strength and power to overcome my fears.

“Say to those who are panicking: Be strong! Don’t fear! Here’s your God, coming with vengeance; with divine retribution God will come to save you” (Isaiah 35:4) “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) “I am the LORD your God, who grasps your strong hand, who says to you, Don’t fear; I will help you.”(Isaiah 41:13)

So, I am empowered because “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble. That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea, when its waters roar and rage, when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.” (Psalms 46:1-3) No matter that my life may feel at times that it is crumbling around me, God wants me to stand strong. Even though I feel that I am overwhelmed and that I am drowning, God has His hand out to grasp me and to keep me from going under. So I should not trust my “feelings”. I should not be afraid. This is a discipline that God wants me to learn. He says these words throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is a message that He has repeated over and over again. He says to all of us “Do Not Be Afraid”.

Lord, I know that the spirit of fear is not from you. Help me to use the spirits of power and discipline to stand strong in times of trial. Amen.

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