"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
Have you seen the news lately? Of course you have. The political news, ads, and posts on Facebook show us there are bad things happening in our world today.
There is the covid-19 virus that has caused many to die. Yet there is a lack of consistency in reporting that can lead to unrest.
There is the rioting, looting and violence happening in many cities around the country that leaves us worried for our country, our city, our family and our children.
There is a war going on in Afghanistan that has been going on since 2001 and there are those who are adults now who were not even born then, and yet the world goes on.
There is a global climate change that is causing widespread panic. Yet, do we know that this is happening because of something man has done? Or, is it a cyclical type of change?
All of these things can be scary. There is a lot to be afraid of in the world.
What Is Fear?
"Fear: (n) A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. The force of this passion, beginning with the most moderate degree, may be thus expressed, fear dread, terror, fright. fear is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us. Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil." — Webster's Dictionary, 1828*
Fear can either be crippling or fortifying.
- Proverbs 26:13
“F-E-A-R: has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours.” — Zig Ziglar.
Fear can be caused by things that are real, things that are legitimate. Or it can come about with, false evidence appearing real.
Fear can be healthy if kept under control. It can bring caution if that is what is called for. Fear can motivate us to act appropriately in the face of fear.
- Ephesians 6:10-13
- Joshua 1:6-7,9
What is the Context of Paul's Reference to Fear?
Paul is suffering for the sake of the gospel.
- 2 Timothy 1:12
- 2 Timothy 2:9
- 2 Timothy 4:6-8
- 2 Timothy 4:16
Paul is facing persecution. Christians in Rome are facing persecution.
From the Tacitus annals, an historian in Rome, Nero had declared Christianity to be illegal...
"Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.
Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed." — Cornelius Tacitus, The Annals
You can understand why Timothy may have been in fear. Timothy, at this time wasn't in Rome, and wasn't under persecution directly. But, Paul was calling him to be in Rome. Timothy, perhaps was afraid to travel to the Roman center of Christian persecution.
Paul's Encouragement to Timothy to Not be in Fear
#1 Remember who you are...
- the son of Paul's heart
- 2 Timothy 1:2-6
- A man of faith, and a legacy of faith.
- 2 Timothy 3:15
- A man with a spiritual gift from God.
- 2 Timothy 2:7
- Tells Him to Hold Fast
- 2 Timothy 1:13,14
- Be Strong
- 2 Timothy 2:1
- To Endure
- 2 Timothy 2:3
- Spend Time in God's Word
- 2 Timothy 2:15
#2 Reminds Him of the Power of the Gospel
- 2 Timothy 1:7,8
- Romans 1:16
Encourages Timothy as the servant of God, one who was empowered by the Holy Spirit to put his trust in that power.
#3 Reminds Him of The Promises of God
- God's presence
- 2 Timothy 3:11,
- 2 Timothy 4:16-18
- 2 Timothy 2:10-12
- The Example of Courage in the Face of Fear
- 2 Timothy 1:16-18
- Paul's example
- 2 Timothy 3:10-12,
- 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Paul encouraged Timothy to find faith in time of fear.
How Do We Find Courage in the Faith of Fear?
#1 Remember Who You Are
We are God's children.
- Romans 8:13-15
The church has withstood every peril for the past 2000 years.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3
#2 Trust in the Power of the Gospel
- 2 Corinthians 1:18
- 1 John 4:18
#3 Remember the Promises of God
- Jesus promises His presence
- Matthew 28:27-28
- Something Better Awaits
- Romans 8:18
- God's Care
- Luke 12:4-7
- God's protection
- Psalm 56:4,
- Psalms 118:6
- Promises of Eternal Home
- John 14:1-3
# 4 Examples of Encouragement in Times of Fear
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
- Daniel 3:16-18
- Heroes of the faith
- Hebrews 11 - 12:1
- Jesus' example
- Hebrews 12:2
What is happening in the world today, can be scary. but, what we fear in the world can't harm us spiritually unless we allow it.
- Romans 8:38
- Revelation 21:8
- 2 Corinthians 13:5
When we have complete trust in the promises of God, all the fears of this world vanish away.
- Psalm 4:8
"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."
That promise can only come to those in Christ. The only way to be in Christ is to be baptized for the remission of your sins, believing and confessing Jesus as the Son of God, repenting of sins and learning to live a faithful life to Christ Jesus.
If we can help you to overcome fear by learning to be a faithful servant of Christ, please contact us.