by Col Larry Simpson, USAF (Ret.)
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
What is your synonym for fear? Is it trepidation, apprehension, alarm, or dread? Whatever your definition, that is the side of 2 Timothy 1:7 you need to address. My synonym for fear is anxious. I think I fear little, but I admit that I can get anxious about a thing or two.
As recently as yesterday, I became anxious over an issue. Then I read 2 Timothy 1:1-14 for a full appreciation of Paul’s response to Timothy’s fear. Paul acknowledged that Timothy’s “sincere faith” (verse 5) was in need of a fresh rekindling (verse 6). God reminded me that dwelling within me is the antidote to fear, which is trust. This reminder led me to an appropriate response to what troubled me. Once I quieted myself, prayed, and then acted, peace returned.
God certainly has not given those who trust Him a spirit of fear. What He has given us, though, is His Holy Spirit, Who guides us to apt responses or actions that quell our concerns and calm our anxious hearts. Further, He has given us power, love, and self-control (discipline). It is hard to imagine an earthly matter these three cannot surmount.
Beware! As with Timothy, fear can cause us to stifle the gift God has given. Do not allow shame (verse 8) or any form of apathy to keep you from living out your call to serve according to His purpose (verse 9). As followers of Christ, as servants, as leaders, we would be well advised to take our own advice. Commit your ways to God and trust Him in your circumstances.
How was your walk with the LORD yesterday? How do you want your walk with Him to be tomorrow? As an act of faith, trust God to reveal the response you need to whatever concerns you.
What other lessons can we draw from Paul’s comments to Timothy?
- God has entrusted each of us with a treasured, indwelling gift (verse 14)
- Sometimes we need the help of another to reignite our gift (verse 6)
- Though we may have backed away from what God called us to, He is always willing to reenlist us in His service. He wants us to keep our faith on the line (verse 8)
From what fear do you need to be delivered? Rescue is yours for the asking! Trust Him to reignite your gift in faithful service to Him.
Copyrighted by Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Larry Simpson. For personal reflection and growth. Not for distribution.
This article originally appeared in COMMAND magazine, or an OCF Ministry Report.