For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Paul’s words to Timothy are equally God’s words to you. He has given each one of us a spirit of “power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, we never should respond to circumstances or people in fear because we have the power of God living within us — the very power that dispels all fear and anxiety.
1. Ask for God’s help.
When fear strikes, immediately ask for God’s help. Tap into his power and allow him to encourage your heart. Remember when Peter tried to walk on the water to Jesus, but his fear overcame him (Matthew 14:30)? When he found himself in trouble and fear — sinking in the sea — he had the right response. He asked for God’s help. “Lord, save me!” This is your best first response any time you feel fearful.
2. Ask the Lord to fill your heart with a sense of his abiding love.
Love is a powerful antidote to fear. God’s love has the ability to eliminate it. I remember the first time I preached in my home church. I was young and had a “fear attack.” I felt the people would expect more from me than a group of strangers might expect. So what helped me? I read the words of the Lord to Joshua in Joshua 1:5 – 9, and then I turned my focus to the people of my home church. I felt overwhelmed by how much I loved them and how they had loved me through the years. By the time I stood in the pulpit, the fear had completely drained out of me. John tells us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Ask your heavenly Father to impart to you more of Christ’s love and to take away any torment you feel. As you do, fear will lose its grip on you.
3. Ask God to give you a sound mind, filled with and operating according to God’s Word.
The basis for a sound mind is the Word of God. The more you know of God’s promises and the more you live according to his commandments, the greater your strength to withstand fear. Use Scripture to speak directly to the source of your fear, just as Jesus quoted Scripture to Satan during his time of temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1 – 13).
When you feel gripped by fear, turn your gaze to Jesus, redirect your heart to his love, speak to your fear from the Word of God and then respond boldly to the situation. The Lord’s desire is for you to “be strong and very courageous” today (Joshua 1:7).
By Charles F. Stanley.
Article from the NIV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible.
During his many years of ministry, Dr. Charles Stanley has faithfully highlighted the 30 Life Principles that have guided him and helped him to grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God. This study Bible features thousands of verse notes and study features to help you explore each of these principles in depth and learn how to make them a part of your everyday life. Learn More