For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and sound-mind.
The only thing we have to fear is fear it’self – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
FDR – First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933
What are fears but voices airy? Whispering harm where harm is not. And deluding the unwary Till the fatal bolt is shot!
Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake.
Edgar Wallace – The Clue of the Twisted Candle (1916)
All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears–of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words “Some Assembly Required.
Am I afraid of high notes? Of course I am afraid. What sane man is not?
Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
I was particularly struck by Will Smith’s narrative in his upcoming movie – “After Earth” as he talked about fear. Take a listen:
The greatest hindrance to our usefulness in the kingdom or to any endeavor for that matter is fear. The greatest obstacle to the increase of gifts God has given us is fear. Fear paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Did you know that it was fear that caused the servant to bury his talent in Matthew 25:25? It was this same fear that threatened the life and ministry of Timothy to the point that Paul had to intervene by telling Timothy that – “God had not given him a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind” – 2 Tim. 1:7.
God has armed us against the spirit of fear by often reminding us to – “fear not.” Fear not the face of man; fear not the dangers you may meet in the face of executing your duty.
God has also delivered us from the spirit of fear and given us a spirit of power, love and sound mind. What are these?
1. The spirit of power, or of courage and resolution to encounter difficulties and dangers;
Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it.
Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944)
2. The spirit of love to God, which will carry us through the opposition we may meet with, as Jacob made nothing of the hard service he was to endure for Rachel: the spirit of love to God will set us above the fear of man, and all the hurt that a man can do us;
3. The spirit of a sound mind, or quietness of mind, a peaceable enjoyment of ourselves, for we are oftentimes discouraged in our way and work.
So, if you are ever going to survive the dangers in this world, accomplish your goals and dreams, and have the quietness of mind that helps you thrive in this life –
you must realize that fear is not real. It is the product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.
So next time you choose – do not choose fear. Do not even try to ignore fear or act as if it is not there. Simply step out in power (courage); step out in love because perfect love casts out fear; and step out in the peace of God that passes all understanding – for it will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.