Summary: As Paul encouraged Timothy, we are given opportunity to encourage those we come into contact with.
Be an encourager
Please turn with me to 2 Timothy 1:7-9 as we continue in the series “learning from the Apostle Paul.”
Paul is writing a letter of encouragement to Timothy.
It is a real good letter since Paul has been arrested and was sitting in jail.
Kind of hard to write a letter of encouragement under those conditions.
I am sure that no one but me has ever had to put on a happy face when they did not feel like it.
I am sure I am alone that sometimes situations cause us to need a little encouragement and that our pitcher is empty on what we can give out.
This letter was Paul’s heart to someone that he cared about and one that he had taken a vested interest in.
They had some history together.
So tell me this morning;
How do you get from fear to confidence?
Where do you get encouragement so that we might be able to give some encouragement to those around us?
Paul was remembering that Timothy had some history with him.
He expresses to his friend that he longs to see him and be with him.
Paul also wanted to stir up within him a flame of hope and a flame of faithfulness.
Even though at the same time Paul was not in an ideal place in his life.
(7) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline.”
Boom, there it is! Write it down!
God does not give us a spirit of fear!
He goes on to say that faith had begun by the teachings of his family and at conversion there should have been some change.
Faith and fear cannot dwell in the same place!
He tells us that perfect love cast out fear- that fear is the opposite of faith and power from God.
Truth be told;
Fear renders us powerless!
It takes our strength and causes us to submit to things that we would not if we were not afraid.
The word power translated here is the Greek word “Dunamus, and is where we get our word dynamite.
Why would Paul say all this to his student of the faith?
Because why would God call us to something that He would not give us the power to get done.
Most things that God ask us to do that would have any kingdom benefits would be something that we cannot do in our own strength. (repeat)
Why would Paul say this?
(8) “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.”
God had war on terror long before any politician dubbed the phrase.
God has been battling fear for us a long time.
I think that there are 2 kinds of fear-
1. There is the healthy fear of God which gives Him reverence.
To put God in the right position in our lives.
2. The fear that is not of God that paralyzes us
Fear of what people might say or think
Fear of death
Fear of stepping out of your comfort zone.
God says “ Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”
Yet most live in fear!
Fear is a fire alarm- it should signal danger, that is what it is designed to do. But for Christians, our response is to allow God to give us the correct response, and act in His strength and guidance.
Paul is telling Timothy all this because He loves him, and he wants to be an encourager.
The best testimonies I have ever heard has come from people who have gone through great trials and come out on the other side.
The drunk who gives up alcohol
The addict who kicks the habit
The man/women who overcomes a divorce that they had no control over.
Paul is writing a letter from prison as a message of encouragement.
“ I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard that what I have entrusted to him.”
Yes, you can conquer fear! In Jesus name!
When you put your trust in God!
When you realize it is not in your strength, your might, but by my Spirit says the Lord.
When you stir up inside of you the gift of God, the Spirit of the living God inside of you!
We move from fear to confidence in God when we get plugged into God’s power!