I would be lying if I said that the state of the world right now does not make me a little fearful. Truly, there are a lot of terrible things going on right now. Disruption in the middle east, terror attacks in France, oil issues in Russia, and even violence and hate going on between people in America. It is a never ending cycle that has gone on for a long time and will go on still more. It is sad and disheartening, and it causes us to fear. Honestly, what I see are people who live in fear and reject true love in their lives, whether it is intentional or not.
Quite a while back I remember hearing that the phrase “do not fear” appears in the Bible 365 times, once for every day of the year. I have yet to discover the validity of that specific number, but the point still stands. God does not call us to be afraid, but to live our lives boldly for Him.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and of sound mind.
~ 2 Timothy 1:7 ~
First I must note that this is not the same fear as “the fear of the LORD”. That particular use of fear refers to reverence, here we are talking about being afraid or terrified. Isn’t English fun?
If we are living in fear, we are not really living the life God calls us to. “God is love” and “perfect love casts out fear”. We no longer have to fear the world and all that is in it because God has filled us with His Spirit. And since He has done that, we know that He has filled us with His love which drives out all fear. It is a love that brings us peace in a chaotic world, joy in trials, and contentment when we have nothing. It is living with our eyes, heart, and mind focused solely on Christ, and not to the trouble that is all around us. We do not have to fear for what tomorrow brings, for every day God keeps what He has promised to us, “Do not fear, for I am with you always.” Remember, His power is stronger than all the forces of this world, and He has given us that power through His Spirit. Our minds can be stilled and cleared of any fear we may have because God has given us a sound mind. I like to think of the Psalm that reminds us “be still, and know that I am God.” To put this in simple terms, “It’s all right, I got this and you. You don’t have to be afraid.” His love drives out fear, and He has comforted us with Himself. This is not a fleeting love, nor a half-hearted love, nor one that asked for anything before it was given. This love is one that was, and is still, freely given.