“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
There are so many reasons to be afraid in today’s world. Even when it comes to being a Christian, I often find myself fearful of what others will think if they find out I love God.
Paul understood this struggle in much more serious ways than you and I do. In his final letter, Paul writes to his mentee Timothy. At this time, Paul is in prison and alone, deserted by many of his friends. But instead of being overcome with dread and disappointment, Paul reminds Timothy of the Spirit they each carry, which empowers them to boldly follow Jesus in spite of their circumstances.
Paul writes that we should “fan into flame the gift of God […] for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” While we are not alone in prison like Paul, we each face challenges that could easily send us spiraling and riddled with fear.
But God has given us His Spirit that enables us to live out of boldness, power, love, and self-discipline instead. When we know we belong to God, we can rest secure in His love, rely on His power, and trust that His presence is with us and His Spirit is working in us whatever we face.
Biblical scholar Brian J. Tabb encourages followers of Jesus on the subject of this verse saying that we can “remember that God has graciously given us his Holy Spirit, who makes us fearless in troubled times, works his power in our weakness, stirs in us genuine love for our neighbors and even our enemies, and gives us self-control to live as God’s holy people.”
What a gift that we have God’s Spirit with us, and we are never alone!