For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement. 2 Timothy 1:7
Love it, right? It’s been encouraging and empowering all week to hear this, but today I got the in-depth scoop and I just have to share it with you fine people. I’m so about to straight plagiarise from my pastor’s sermon.
Those words were written by Paul to his preacher-buddy Timothy, encouraging him to keep on keepin’ on. My first impression of this verse was “don’t be afraid at all ever”. But apparently the word Paul actually used for “fearfulness” is translated into something more like “cowardice”.
While I’ve never been completely under the impression that life would be totally easy when you follow Christ, there have been times where I have felt a little short-changed. (cough cough MISCARRIAGE cough cough ANXIETY, ALCOHOLISM, (literally) CRAZY FAMILY MEMBERS, FIGHTS WITH MY HUSBAND, cough cough.) But I guess that’s all just life here in an imperfect world.
I’ve heard it said that fear is a lack of faith, but I wonder if that’s completely true. Is it possible to experience bravery and fear at the same time? Here’s my confession: I’m a human and I get scared. I don’t smile through all my disappointments. I cry when I’m hurt. I’m not a huge fan of “the unknown”.
But I love God and I know that He sees these things coming, and like any good father, He’s there, with His hand held out so that I can hold onto Him no matter what I go through.
I think it’s important to know (which I did not, before today) that Paul was on death row in a prison cell in Rome when he wrote this letter, and Timothy was dealing with a church that had gone straight crazy with all kinds of bad behavior. The very word “cowardice” means a lack of courage in facing danger, pain, or difficulty. 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly says we will still encounter hard things–and we will be able to move forward through said hard things with love, power, and sound judgement.
Because if we put our trust and our faith in God, He instills His spirit in us, and this spirit enables us to face fears, accept challenges, and fight battles–all the while being kind, loving, giving, gracious, and humble. Sweet.