The Apostle Paul wrote these words to a fearful Timothy, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
I say fearful because Timothy was a young pastor who was dealing with some lack of confidence issues, criticism because his father was a Gentile, plus he had some false teachers stirring up trouble among the flock, and one could also deduce that he had struggles with stress and fear because he got stomach health advice from Paul, too.
I am sharing this because as we seem to all be on self-quarantine while the media continues to remind us that COVID-19 is creeping outside our doors, we too may relate with Timothy in being a little apprehensive about our circumstances.
There is no sin in being fearful — we are human — but we don’t want to maintain an attitude of fearfulness. Having a spirit of fear is from our humanity, not from our God. So when fear arises we don’t want it to linger.
We want to have a spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” so we don’t get stuck with a spirit of fear.
Spirit of Power
God has given us a spirit of power because we have the ability to deal with the circumstance we are have all been dealt. We are going to doubt our confidence in God’s provision and watchful eye over us, but we are going to get through this in knowing that we have been created for such a time as this.
Esther could have abandoned her will to help her people, she could have given in to the wealth of the palace available to her, but she recognized her place in the timeline of God’s plan of redemption and we too are here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Consider this, if God has brought you here, He’ll bring you through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that “no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
You might say, what if it gets really really bad? If things get really really bad, beyond what you think you could actually handle, know that just as the angels shut the mouth of the lions for Daniel, just as the flames touched not the Hebrew boys in the furnace, and just as the boiling oil washed as cool water over the aged body of the Apostle John, so “he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91:11).
Spirit of Love
God has given us a spirit of love because it is as we turn our attention toward the Lord and others that fear of our current circumstance will lose their grip on us. We are going to be challenged with our own concerns and potential problems behind our closed doors, but we are going to get through it by giving our attention to the Lord.
Psalm 91:14 states “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” Love extends our affections and interests in the opposite direction of our worries and cares. When we give our attention and set our love upon the Lord we experience what it means to be “in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
These moments of being shut-in are opportunities to give our attention, our love, to one another through prayer. Pause from time to time to pray for your family, your friends, and each and every one of us as part of the CrossHope Chapel family.
Spirit of a Sound Mind
God has given us a spirit of a sound mind because it is important that we not put our emotions over sound reason in this situation. We are going to feel distant and disconnected behind our closed doors, but we will hang on through these times by holding fast the promises of God.
The God we serve says “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), but He also created us emotional beings. We may feel overwhelmed, we may sense a great weight of anxiety, we may even feel like we have lost the joy of the Lord.
The roller coaster of emotions is not our confidence in the Lord, His promises are our sure standard of belief. We may need to join in the prayer of the Psalmist who exclaimed “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalm 51:10-12).
There is an old song that I remember more from old TV commercials than actually singing in church, it went “One day at a time, sweet Jesus, is all I ask of thee.” Maybe you remember that one.
However if you don’t remember or even if you do, its never been truer than today. One day at a time, in prayer with our sweet Jesus Savior and Lord, is all I’m asking of you and me.
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