Summary: We all deal with fear on some level. We must take on fear directly in the name of Jesus. Based on 2 Tim. 1:5-7. No more cowering to fear.
I love going to Summersville Lake. One of the highlights of the lake is all of the rocky ledges that you can climb up on and then jump into the water. The two or three footers are pretty easy. The eight footers will give you a pause before you take the leap. But it was when several of us climbed up to the waterfall that fear really kicked in.
If you’ve ever been to the lake you know that there is a little cold with a small waterfall. Beautiful. You can take a little hike and actually get to that waterfall. Now that you are there you are looking 40 feet down at the water. It might as well be 80 feet.
That is when fear kicks in. Your body begins to rebel. Your mind starts fantasizing that jumping from that distance would end in disaster. You start thinking about slipping, hitting your head, a belly flop, hitting something in the water, going unconscious, going so deep into the water that some sea monster grabs you by the ankles…
Fear just makes its home right in your gut. Your legs go weak, your heart pounds, your stomach is upset, your palms are clammy. Even though you are trying to rationally think your way through this there is an entirely different dynamic going on inside of your body. Finally, you just have to make the jump. And once you’ve done it once… You will do it again.
That kind of fear is just a moment in time. It’s actually a good type of fear to persuade you to not be foolish. But there are some people who fear is not just a moment in time, it has become a lifestyle. They are living from moment to moment fearing everything. Fear, being afraid, has taken up residence inside of their gut and they can never escape it.
Let me introduce you to a Bible character named Timothy. Timothy was a young man who was being mentored by Paul. Paul had so much confidence in him that he sent him to a city called Ephesus to pastor a church that was facing a lot of difficulty. But it seems that Timothy may have been faltering a little. When Paul writes this letter to Timothy that we will read, Timothy seem to be scared. Why?
- For one, his mentor Paul had been arrested and was now in jail. Paul was a rock in his life and now he was unavailable.
- And it seems that Timothy, being young, the Christians in this church were just not responding to his authority. In other words, some of the elders of the church really didn’t respect him.
- And then there was the problem with false teachers.
- And then there was the suffering.
So Paul writes Timothy a couple of letters and in the second one listen to what Paul says;
2 Timothy 1:5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.
I want to zoom in on verse 7; For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Paul talks about a spirit of fear. Not a brief moment of fear, not being scared about something specific, but a spirit of fear. A spirit of being afraid.
Fear is probably one of the most shared emotions that we have in this building today. We live a lot of our life with this sense of uneasiness, that something could happen, the things are outside of our control and we don’t like it. Fear is this gut feeling that something bad is about to happen, we are in danger, there is a threat somewhere and we’re scared.
Just scroll through Facebook and look at some of these things that I find every day… Pictures “This makes you feel like you better do something!”
- Were scared of the Chinese, the Koreans, ISIS, socialism, and that will never get our student loans paid off.
- were scared that the stock market is dropping and when we ought to pull out of it
- were scared of drugs
- were scared of crime