A Four-Letter Word
Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 12-14; 2 Timothy 1
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
More than once since I committed this verse to memory, I have had to embrace it as truth and pray that I not give in to a “spirit of fear.” I have come to believe that the word “fear” really is a four-letter word and should be considered profanity. Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow have it censored from all of our thoughts and feelings, like bleeping out a bad word? But instead, fear is very much a part of our reality, even more so than we realize or want to admit. I know there are times when being fearful can be a good thing, such as being afraid of doing something that might bring harm or danger. My husband bought me a motorcycle. I spent a significant amount of time preparing to ride it, taking courses, getting my license, but the bike still sat in the garage. I was hindered with fear from riding it.
The spirit of fear as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7 is a different kind of fear. This fear hinders what God has given us: His power, love and sound mind. This fear grips us with doubts and insecurities, waging war with our thoughts and feelings. This kind of fear is not of God but of the enemy, the devil. Fear is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses against us, as it attacks our minds. He tells us that we are no good, not worthy, unloved and useless. These thoughts affect us all, he picks on everyone, and no one is spared. How can we fight against such thoughts? By believing the truth of the second part of the verse. God through His Holy Spirit has given us power, love and a sound mind, not in our strength but in His.
Are you dealing with fears today that are gripping you so tightly that you feel helpless and hopeless? How can these fears be conquered? Start by praying for the Lord to open your mind and help you understand how to use the power given by His Holy Spirit. The power precedes love, so next pray for your heart to be filled with His love, knowing that His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). What a great pair…power and love! Then, ask the Lord to clear your mind and bring to your thoughts His words, taking captive those thoughts not of Him.
O, Lord, I pray that You teach us how to live victorious lives through the empowering love and strength of Your Holy Spirit. And in Jesus name we ask that You break those strongholds of fear that bind us up and keep us from experiencing the peace and joy that You desire for us. Amen.