said my pastor this morning. “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).”
Don’t you think our world could use a little less fear, and a little more power and love and sound-mindedness?*
Uncertainty is unavoidable, but fear is optional.
Do you know why? It’s because of the God we serve. We serve a God who parts the waves and shakes the solid ground, the God who at a word would stop the sun or send down chariots from heaven. We serve a God who holds a host of angels at his command and formed the earth with his breath, the God who makes water spring from rocks in the desert and lets bread fall like rain from heaven.
We serve the God who holds the world in his hands yet catches the sparrow before it falls, the God who reversed places to take the curse we deserved. We serve the God who conquered death, who went through hell and back for me and crushed the darkness beneath his heel like an insect.
This is why, while uncertainty is certain in this broken world of ours, we do not have to be afraid, because this God is on our side. Our sovereign Lord has become our friend.
I am reminded of the old hymn:
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
That’s power, isn’t it? To know that that God is the one who is with me. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” How little do we take advantage of that power!
When I was a little girl, I often fantasized about what it would be like in heaven to meet Moses, and Abraham, and Peter, and Paul, and to ask them, “What was it like? What was it like, to have the literal voice of God ringing in your ears, to hear his voice and commands and to carry out his work directly?”
Someone I said this to once responded: “I think maybe they’ll say, ‘No, you tell me what it was like, to have the literal spirit of God dwelling inside you?”
How quickly we forget! How quickly we take it for granted! How often do we let the power of God blow our minds? How often do we let his love ravish us, sweep us away on his tide of grace? His love and faithfulness, to never give up on us, never let us go, to see us through to the end as we “run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).”
Uncertainty is unavoidable, but fear is optional. He takes our fear, and fills us with his spirit–with love, and power, and a sound mind. May you never lose your wonder at his grace.
*Spell-check isn’t underlining it, so I’m going to assume it’s a word.