5-year old Jason was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup,but he didn’t want to go in alone.
“It’s dark in there and I’m scared.”
She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, “It’s OK–Jesus will be in there with you.”
Jason walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came to him.
“Jesus,” Jason said, “if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?”
Well, there are many different kind of fears and some are more difficult to overcome than others. Napoleon Hill once wrote that there are six basic kind of fears people face. Fear of poverty. Criticism. Poor health. Loss of love. Old age. And the fear of death.
In one of the great verses of the Bible, 2 Timothy 1:7, God gives us good news about facing our fears “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
First of all consider these facts about fear. Fear is real. Don’t deny it. Suppress it. Or run from it. Admit it. Face it. And work to overcome it. Over 300 times the Bible exhorts us to “fear not.” Why?
Because our fears do not come from God! So, what is the source of fear? If must be from doubts the Devil implants in our hearts. He wants us to question God. To doubt our ability. To be afraid of the future.
The word “fear” in this text means timidity, or cowardice. We don’t have to cower in fear at the Devil’s devices, because God is greater than Satan! We can boldly approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, assurance and hope. (Heb. 4:16). God offers this comforting promise.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you.” (Isa 41:10)
Paul provides three reasons to rely on God.
(1) God has given us the spirit of power.
God is all-powerful. And His Word is powerful (Heb. 4:12). The Gospel is God’s power to salvation (Rom. 1:16). And it not only delivers us from the Devil’s enslavement, but empowers us, strengthens us, and energizes us spiritually.
Peter said “the God of all grace” is able to “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Pet 5:10). David affirmed, “the Lord is my strength and my shield” (Ps 28:7). So, Paul would exhort us to “be strong in the Lord…and put on the whole armor of God” (Eph 6:10-11).
(2) Love comes from God. God is love. ( John 4:8) He’s the epitome of love. We can tap into His heart, imbue His love, and find the calmness of spirit that overcomes fear. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.” (I John 4:18)
God’s divine love soothes the soul, steadies the spirit, and provides peace for the heart. The tranquility of love’s character fortifies our faith and drives out our fears.
(3) A sound mind is the result of God’s influence in our lives.
The word “sound” is related to the word sober. It could be better rendered self-discipline or self-control. Fear is overcome by rational reasoning and tranquil thoughts that stem from spiritual meditation.
When we think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good repute, our minds will become disciplined to conquer fear. Mediate on godly things that are virtuous and praiseworthy instead of putrid and vulgar things. (Phil. 4:8).
Finally, remember this simple adage. “Fear knocked at the door. Faith opened. And no one was there!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman