“For God did not give us the spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
Healthy fear warns us of danger and prepares us to react appropriately. However, the type of fear referred to in this verse is an “unhealthy” fear. It gets in the way of what our Heavenly Father has already given us: His power, His love, and His self discipline.
Unhealthy fear overwhelms us with doubt and insecurity; it drains our spiritual life and physical strength. It steals God’s peace from our hearts, and robs us of joy in our daily lives. It causes us to become stagnant; unable to move ahead with the things God has planned for us. It’s important to remember that unhealthy, paralyzing, controlling fear is not from God, it is one weapon our enemy Satan uses to interrupt, discourage and destroy our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Are you struggling with unhealthy fear?
Take a closer look at 1 Samuel 17:32, “David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.””
David could have cowered in the corner with an unhealthy, paralyzing fear at the thought of facing such insurmountable odds, yet David’s confidence in God was so strong; he actually volunteered to face the giant Philistine.
David saw his giant problem from God’s perspective and knew he already possessed everything necessary to face his enemy head on (literally). This confidence allowed David to rest in God’s power and inexhaustible strength in order to defeat his enemy. Because David’s reliance was not on himself but on the ONE who supplies everything required, the giant was defeated.
As we follow David’s example and look at our giant problems from God’s perspective, we have the same assurance that God’s very presence will sustain us as we use the tools He has already provided.
For years, I battled against this unhealthy fear; I allowed it to interrupt my relationship with God and others. It stole peace from my heart and joy in my daily life. Recognizing the ungodly source of this unhealthy fear, I now rely on the truths in Psalm 91:14-15,“’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’” (NIV)
These verses have taught me the value of swapping the four-letter word fear with the four-letter word – hope.
By placing our hope in God not circumstances, we’re able to assuage unhealthy fear and face any giant in my pathway with confidence. No fear.
Friends, are you living with unhealthy fear? Are you ready to replace it with the courageous and confident hope that’s found in trusting God alone?
I’d like to challenge you to read and meditate on one “fear not” verse everyday for 30 days. What other verses encourage you to love in the hope of God and not the fear of uncertainty?