“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 (NKJV)]
Fear poses a problem for humans in that when it takes over our minds, it will cause a person to over react to a situation or it can completely paralyze them to a state of immobility.
But fear is a natural emotion that God created in humans therefore we must see it as having a positive place in our lives. For example, a person sights a funnel tornado cloud coming their direction. Fear will motivate that person to go to a cellar in order to protect themselves from the storm. Fear of contacting a dreaded disease can motivate a person to get an inoculation against that infectious disease.
It is of interest that the only fear that a Christian is enjoined to possess is the fear of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:11 Paul wrote, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others…”.
Why should we as Christians try to persuade others? Verse 10 provides the reason: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
And even here, the fear that is being enjoined is of self-protection. If we are aware that judgment awaits all persons, a prudent person will take immediate steps to make changes in their lives so that they will meet the approval of the eternal judge. Once a person has taken those steps and is walking in fellowship with God and the Word, there is no longer a fear that terrorizes the believer’s life.
Paul wrote to the Roman Church, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Fear is removed when we are living in a right relationship with God.
John may have said it best when he wrote: “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” [1John 4:17-19].
When His love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, fear is driven out—completely.
—Written by Rev. Ivan L. Schwenn, 2020-02—