Matters of Faith: “Overcome Fear With Faith!”

2 Timothy 1:7 (NET)

“For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

The Bible talks about fear from two different perspectives; one is reverential awe of being in the presence of an awesome God. This is healthy fear; the kind of fear where wisdom is born and where a good understanding is given to all who obey the commandments of God. It’s where praises to Him endure forever. The psalmist writes in 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

The other comes from a strong emotion that is birthed out of an anticipation or an awareness of danger or the presence of evil. It can so affect us that we either fight or flee. It can be so overwhelming that we can be paralyzed by it. It’s possible that it can be so all-consuming that every aspect of our life is impacted. This is the type of fear that Paul is writing to Timothy about to tell him that it can be overcome.

Fear cannot be overcome by cowering or running from it. It cannot be overcome by crying or wailing. Fear is only overcome with faith. The verse that follows our verse above gives instruction to Timothy that we would do well to follow; “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel” (v.8). The implication is that there will be some trouble and some suffering that will take place, but Timothy needs to follow in the path set by Paul, not considering the affliction, the imprisonment, or anything else that may happen to him to stop him from doing what the Lord has assigned him to do. If you remember that fear is the anticipation of something happening to you, not the event itself, knowing who you serve, what He has called you to do, and why He specifically called you, you will soon turn those fear-filled emotions into faith-filled action.

The way to eliminate fear is through faith. Paul tells Timothy that Christ is the one who saved them both and the one who called them with a holy calling. He tells him that it was not based on their works but on His own purpose and grace. It gets even better! Paul says that Christ gave them that purpose and grace before time began. Then he says in verses 11-12 that it was “For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.” There it is! His fear was turned to faith. His encouragement to Timothy is an encouragement to us: we can overcome fear with faith!

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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