For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
– 2 Timothy 1:7
The only fear that God encourages in a Christian’s life is the fear of God (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Heb. 10:31). Fear of people does not come from God. The problem is that many Christians fear people more than they fear God. Their fear hinders them from pleasing God because they waste their efforts appeasing other people.
Timothy was a young man, timid by nature, and probably not strong physically (1 Tim. 5:23). He knew of Paul’s frequent trials and persecutions. He knew that he, too, might suffer those same persecutions. Paul reminded his young colleague that fear of others does not come from God. Fear causes us to stop and question what God has clearly told us to do. Perhaps we were confident in our obedience until persecution came; now we doubt whether we heard God correctly. Most fear is fear of the unknown.
We do not know what lies ahead of us, so we become apprehensive. Our imaginations can magnify problems until they seem insurmountable. We need a sound mind to see things in proper perspective. That is why God gave us His Holy Spirit, to enable us to see things as God sees them. Fear is no excuse to disobey God. There is no reason to live in fear when you have the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Fear will enslave you, but Christ has come to set you free. Ask God to free you from any fear you are experiencing and to open your eyes. As He reveals the reality of your situation, He will enable you to continue in obedience.
Excerpt republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.