For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.2 Timothy 1:7(HCSB)
Down through the centuries, the normal Christian life has been one of intense persecution, pain, rejection, ridicule, subjugation, and death. The early Church of the first century was scattered far and wide, as an increasingly hostile world fed many to the lions and burnt others at the stake. As we read of men and women of faith (like those listed in the Hebrews 11 role of honour), we discover that many were enslaved, exploited, and exterminated for the sake of Christ.
But from his own incarceration in a Roman jail, the apostle Paul was able to encourage His timid labourer in Christ, by reminding Timothy (and us as well), that God "has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power; of love; of a sound mind and godly judgment."
Timothy, like us all, needed to be reminded that we have the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit of God Who has gifted us and empowered us with all that we need for life and godliness, no matter how difficult or dangerous life in this world may become.
Jesus Himself warned us that in this world we would suffer tribulations and trials, but He also urged us to remember that He has overcome the world: "For greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world."
Timothy was exhorted to reignite the flickering flame of his faltering faith, for although he was saved by grace through faith in Christ, he was timid, afraid, and felt pressurised by the increasingly hostile world in which we all live. But like him we need to remember WHO we are in Christ, and that we have not been given a spirit of fearfulness and timidity, but one of power, love, sound judgment, and a disciplined mind.
We all need power in our lives, but true strength does not come from relying on our own capabilities but on Christ Who has promised that His grace is sufficient for all the difficulties and dangers of life we may have to face. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, for when we are weak in our own abilities then we become strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might.
We all need love in our lives, but true godly love is not something that we struggle to produce through our own fleshly efforts, but can only be produced in us as spiritual fruit as we abide in Christ and He in us.
We all need sound judgment and a disciplined mind, but we cannot achieve this by self-effort and fleshly struggling, nor can this be developed through extra-biblical training-programmes or webinars. But as we look to Jesus and willingly submit to the ongoing child-training and chastening work of the Holy Spirit within, we will experience an inexplicable, inner peace that passes understanding, for this is the promise of God to all whose mind is resting in Christ.
Heavenly Father, I praise and thank You for Your indwelling Holy Spirit and thank You that my life is hid with Christ in God. Thank You that You have not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, and love, and of a sound mind. May I not fear rejection or ridicule in this increasingly hostile world, nor fear the likelihood of persecution, pain, or even death. But may I fan into flame my faith in Christ so that in Him, I may stand firm in the evil day. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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