What to remember when fear leaves you paralyzed
From Letters of Paul: 30-Day Bible Study
We have all experienced fear. The fear of loneliness or loss, the fear of uncertainty or being misunderstood, the fear of rejection or sickness.
Maybe you’ve been afraid someone was going to hurt you. Perhaps something in your past holds you back from getting closer to a person or goal. Fear can overcome us in many ways, leaving us paralyzed by whatever we are afraid of while holding us back from God’s goodness.
In 2 Timothy, Paul writes Timothy for a second time — encouraging Timothy to be bold and fearless and wait on the Lord. Like Timothy, Paul had every reason to fear. He was alone, broken, and imprisoned.
But Paul knew that confidence in God removes fear. Fear intimidates us and neutralizes us, so we stop moving forward. When our fears guide our emotions, our effectiveness in the kingdom is paralyzed.
Timothy was struggling with the fear of opposition and uncertainty. He knew what he was called to do, but had people opposing him, which caused him to fear what was ahead. Paul encouraged him that God would equip him for whatever came his way because when the power of the Holy Spirit is within us, fear is overcome.
Maybe, like Timothy, you fear being opposed. Psalm 27:1-2 reminds us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — whom shall I be afraid?”
When God’s Spirit fills us, there is no room for fear. In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul shares three gifts of the Holy Spirit that help us overcome fear: power, love, and self-discipline. When fear comes, we need to remember that we have power. We are loved. And we can be disciplined. The closer we follow God, the more we understand that this is who we are. We are not beholden to fear.
- What are you afraid of today?
- What’s one promise you read today that can help you face that fear?
- Do you need more power, love, or self-control today? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up as you face your fears today.