We call fear by many names. We call it worry, tension, anxiety, and stress. One study looked at 500 different people and discovered 7,000 unique fears. On average, every person carries with them 14 different fears. In light of Covid-19, we’ve added another fear to our lists! One study I read a while ago said that the greatest fear people have, is the fear of being alone. If you are single, you are feeling that fear probably more than anyone today. The problem with fear is that it’s contagious, it’s limiting, and it’s absolutely draining. Fear and worry also reveal the things we love and value. Our fears often point out our insatiable quest for control and our sense of aloneness.
What do your fears say you trust in? What do your fears say you love?
Fear is also a deeply spiritual matter. People often say, “Fear is the absence of faith.” But, I would argue that fear is actually faith. It’s just faith in the wrong things. You could say fear is placing your faith in the “what ifs” of life. Things like, what if the economy falls apart and we enter a global recession? What if I lose my job? What if someone I love gets COVID-19?
The good news, according to 2 Timothy 1:7 is this, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and self-discipline.” Stop and re-read that verse again. Stop again and say a prayer to God using this verse.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. Yes, the Spirit of God living in YOU. So while there will be times you’ll feel afraid, fear never has to dominate your life. Instead, God has given all his children power, love and even self-discipline. Power to replace fear with faith. Love that moves us to care for our neighbor. And self-discipline to help us do what God wants us to do.
In light of that reality today, let’s lean into this promise and ask the Holy Spirit to give us more power, and abundance of love and greater self-discipline, not only for our sake but for our neighbor!
Grace and Peace,