2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. — 2 Timothy 1:7
Is Fear Necessary?
by Patty Taylor
Life is full of uncertainty, and many situations can produce fear and anxiety. Fear can come about during a scary situation, or it can arise in us even in the absence of something scary. We sometimes are afraid simply because of what we imagine could happen. Some neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and develop fear in our minds. This low-grade, objectless fear can actually turn into chronic and debilitating anxiety about nothing specific.1
The medical community explains that fear not only negatively affects the mind, but it also can impact a person’s health in surprising ways. In addition to anxiety or depression, we also can develop a weakened immune system, heart changes, or loss of memory. Fear also stops emotional growth and maturity, masks legitimate feelings, and renders in us a sense of powerlessness.2
How can we avoid becoming a victim of real or imagined fear? We need to realize that there are two types of fear. First, there is the fear of the Lord. This fear is right and healthy, as we learn to stand in reverential awe of God, acknowledging His power, His holiness and His glory.
At other times, however, a “spirit of fear” can overwhelm us. This type of fear is something to be overcome, as we learn to love and trust in God. Second Timothy 1:7 teaches us that God does not give us the spirit of fear. That means that when we feel fearful, anxious or unsettled, we must reject those feelings and rely on God’s promise to give us power, love, and sound judgment.
Having power from God gives us assurance to walk in His authority and enjoy the victory we have in Christ. We can confidently face whatever the enemy throws at us. God also promised us love. We love because He first loved us.
Pastor Mike Glenn said in a recent sermon that the world wants us to erase our stresses and fears by meditating. The world’s definition of meditating is to “empty our minds.” Conversely, the Bible’s definition of meditation is to “fill our minds” with scripture. It is important that we empty our lives of the world’s negativity and refill them with God’s promises.
Isaiah 41:10 encourages us, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air, so how much more will He provide for His children? In Matthew 10:31, He said, “So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
When we are challenged and tempted to give in to fear, sound judgment is needed. God’s wisdom and the inspiration from the scriptures can help us make correct decisions, avoid pitfalls and distinguish right from wrong. When we depend on God’s promises, we can achieve peace and comfort, knowing “God has got this.” There is NO need to fear.
12015 Psychology Today.
- Take a piece of paper and list all your fears. After you have listed the fears, analyze them. Are they real or imagined?
- Now go back and re-read this devotional. Can you see the reasons why your fears have come?
- Are you in God’s Word? Are you asking God to replace fear with calm, peace, love, comfort and sound judgment?
- Pray for God’s love and wisdom to fill the voids in your life, and then learn to replace negative thoughts with positive scriptures.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.