For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Three Things God Has Given Us
The people of God have always been a fearless group of devoted, dedicated and decided individuals who changed the world they lived in. Noah lived in a world filled to overflowing with wickedness and he faced the dark forces of Satan firmly trusting in the grace of God. Abram would leave a home of seventy-five years for a journey lasting a century based upon a complete trust in the word of the Lord and belief that what God said would come to pass would be fulfilled. Moses brought the people of God out of Egypt through the power of the Lord and led a rebellious, murmuring and unthankful nation to the promised land. The shepherd boy David stood in the valley of Elah and faced a man so huge no human dared challenge him but with determined faith in the power of God and a single stone in his sling delivered the head of Goliath to victorious Israel. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel and all the prophets were men of courage who faced persecution from their own brethren for preaching the truth and yet never wavered or faltered in the face of trial. The great apostle Paul faced death knowing his time was near and rather than seeking pity from his protégé Timothy exhorted him to renew his courage with the gift of God that would empower him, fill him with love and establish the heart in the soundness of God’s word. Three things that will help the child of God overcome the challenges of life and live a productive, full and hopeful life.
Christians are not to be fearful people. As the elect of God there should never be a spirit of fear because everything that brings fear and dread was taken away when Jesus rose from the dead. The greatest fear man had is death because of the wrath of God. Jesus did not come to take away sickness, poverty or political upheaval. He came to give men peace through the power of the Father’s grace. As saints of the Lord the people of God are powerful spirits that fight against the wiles of Satan and win. Timidity is not in the language of the victorious soldiers of the cross. The strength of character comes from the knowledge the battle is won, Jesus is victorious and there is nothing to dread or fear. God has given His people a spirit of power to overcome sin. Everything man needs to live a godly life is provided by the Father. There is a form of holy courage that gives the heart of the Christian strength to bear up under trials, stand against evil and live with hope of heaven in their hearts. Perfect love casts out fear. God has given His people a spirit of love to seek Him and to forgive one another. This kind of love creates a bold mind that will trust in the will of God and to share that courage with others. The spirit of love teaches forgiveness, patience, longsuffering, faith and trust. One of the hallmarks of the church is the character of love the people of God show for one another and how that loves is given to a lost and dying world. Love is the action of a heart filled with gratitude for the mercy of God. It does not rest on the words of love to prove itself but in the working hands that are showing God’s love to others.
God has given His children a spirit of soundness that comes from His power and His love. The sound mind is not a doctrinal attribute that necessarily adheres to all the right regulations to describe what is sound and what is not. Paul suggests in the use of the sound mind the spirit of sobriety and clarity. It is here the Christian shows his forethought concerning the spiritual things of God as his guiding light. With discretion the child of God weaves his way through life looking to the law of God as his light, the commandments of the Lord as his guide and the will of the Father his voice. Soundness comes from the spirit of power and love manifested through the actions of the heart that is influenced by the presence of the Lord in the actions of the individual. Overcoming the perils and trials of life cannot be accomplished without a sound mind able to discern the response to the fiery darts of the devil. Facing the attacks of the evil one must be tempered with a mind able to make the right decisions and follow the right course. God has given His people the spirit of victory wrapped up in the mantle of love that they may fight the good fight with the faith to overcome. Christians are fearless people, resilient, overcomers, victory driven and faith filled souls that believe in the power of God.