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
There is a lot of fear out there right now. In fact, a recent study that just came out a few days ago said that people are more afraid of experiencing increased anxiety, if this pandemic situation carries on longer, than they actually are of not being able to pay their bills, of having their work hours decreased or even losing their jobs! 1 In essence, they are afraid of fear itself!
It’s normal to experience fear in the face of some kind of threat. Actually, it’s not uncommon to be fearful of things that maybe others wouldn’t even perceive as a threat. However, right now, we are experiencing a collective fear and anxiety over the unknown as we navigate through this coronavirus pandemic, and It doesn’t help when so many others around the world are in a state of fear! But the Lord has told us over and over again in His Word to fear not. What does He mean by that? Does it mean we’re not supposed to ever experience fear? Aren’t there times where fear is a good thing to warn us – to give us a heads up if we’re careening off into something that might hurt us?
When the Lord tells us to fear not, what I believe He is telling us is that we are not to fear over things that we can’t control. Of course, He himself put into us the ability to perceive if a threat is coming our way and we need to do something to take action against it. However, He does not want us to ruminate and worry over the things we cannot control. It’s at this point that we choose either fear or faith. The word “choose” is interesting. If you look in a thesaurus for synonyms for choose you get: select, decide, determine, elect. etc. All of these words are verbs. They denote some kind of action. When it comes to fear, the Lord is telling us that we have a choice. We can either choose fear or choose faith.
We are going to have many times in our lives, especially now, where fear is going to creep up and try to steal our peace. It’s in these times that we need to remember that God commands us not to fear. He is telling us to choose between fear and faith in Him. When we give into the fear, and let our minds go to the “worst case scenario” it begins to cloud our ability to see things accurately. If we only will reach out the hand that the Lord is offering us in our fears, we will then have a “sound mind” – one that is not troubled or panicked and can think clearly. It’s His Spirit that brings peace to our hearts and minds. I believe that when we choose faith in God over the fear, we show our love and trust in Him, and that is when we see His power at work in our lives, even within the moments. We can’t help when the fear creeps in, we can choose to throw it out by choosing faith in Jesus instead!
(1) “U.S Adults Are Most Concerned About Experiencing Increased Anxiety As A Result of COVID-19: https://neurosciencenews.com/anxiety-coronavirus-16183/