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).
Most of us are familiar with this verse, but I would venture that few of us understand why the apostle wrote it. Do you know what Paul said in the preceding verse? He tells Timothy to “to stir up the gift of God which is in you.” What does that mean? It means that God gave Timothy a spiritual gift and he is to renew his commitment to use that gift. That applies to each one of us, as God has given every believer a spiritual gift. If you aren’t using it, then you are not fulfilling God’s purpose for you here in the world.
But like Timothy, what hinders a lot of believers is fear. This is the only time this Greek word is used in the New Testament. It means faint-heartedness, timidity, weakness. It doesn’t matter what you know or what opportunities God gives you—if you do not have courage, you will not speak, you will not act. Courage is necessary for living a life of faith and fruitfulness. And God has given you that spirit of power. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what your feelings are or what apprehensions you might have, God has given you a spirit of power—you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.
God has also given you a spirit of love. In other words, the Lord not only gives you sufficient strength and courage for ministry, He gives you the right motivation, which is love. This is the fruit of His Spirit, which will overflow in your life as you walk in the Spirit. God’s love will motivate your ministry and all that you do as you follow Christ, as you allow Him to fill your life with His love.
And the Lord has also given us a sound mind. One commentator calls this the ability to prioritize. It’s the self-control, the discipline to make the most of the opportunities God gives you, to keep you focused on what is truly important so that you live a life of divine purpose.
So what reason is there for you to be fearful? What reason is there for you to be intimidated? What reason is there for you to be worried? None, because God has given you His power, His love, and His courage to live a life of divine purpose and impact and joy.