2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIV)
We live in fearful times, so many people feel anxious and insecure. We worry about the future of our families, communities, and nations. We wonder if peace will ever come or whether we will ever be safe. The spirit of this post-modern era is full of self-doubt and uncertainty. The 21st century, which so many of us thought would bring about wonderful solutions for the security, health, and prosperity of the whole human race, has been a great disappointment so far. Perhaps toward the end of this century, we may begin to get it right.
As a pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian, I find it difficult not to relate the decline in church-going Christianity with the societal increase in fear and anxiety. It seems to me that the opposite fear is faith and the reverse of anxiety is assurance. Christ came to offer both faith and assurance to humanity, so is it too simple to think that the solution to the angst we are currently experiencing actually resides in the Christianity we are rejecting?
I also think this why the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy with the words of today’s highlighted verse. They both lived during anxious, insecure, and deeply disturbing times. Paul offered Timothy the same remedy that I believe we need today: a divine assurance that the Spirit with which God blesses us, can overcome any anxiety, fear, or insecurity through power, love, and self-discipline.
Wherever you go today, or whatever you face, please know this: God has your back because He fills you with His Spirit first.
Questions for personal reflection
What am I worried about today? Am I willing to let God’s Spirit subdue my fears and overcome my problems?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of our souls and the Champion of our faith. We look to You to lead, guide, and be with us through whatever we have to presently face or endure. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s Spirit drawings. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Spirit.