Power, Love and a Sound Mind
What's our knee-jerk reaction when we hit an unforeseen bend in the road? When the teacher assigns that horrendously stressful group project, or a family member falls ill, or our plans for the future are altered by a drastic twist or turn of events?
Option One: panic. Anxiety. Fear. In the face of uncertainty, human nature latches onto worst-case-scenarios and all the ways in which we are woefully unprepared. The spirit of fear would have us panicking, and I know for myself, it often succeeds.
But fear is not the only option.
Fear is a burden from Satan, but God grants us the gift of His Spirit to fight it—a Spirit equipped with everything we need to live in power, love, and self-discipline. We have a choice in the face of tribulation, the freedom to decide what we will lean on when twists in the road have us questioning everything we thought was certain. Fear offers despair, self-pity, and helplessness. The Holy Spirit makes a better offer.
1. Power. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil. 4:13). The God of the Universe, the Saviour who conquered death itself, promises to grant us strength in difficulties. That's a power greater than anything we could face.
2. Love. Perfect love casteth out fear. (1 John 4:18). God's Spirit not only envelops us in His fathomless love for us, but equips us to radiate that love to others.
3. Sound mind. The NLT translates this as self-discipline (II Tim. 1:7). God's Holy Spirit also transforms our minds, equipping us to make righteous choices, to live wisely and discerningly, and to discipline ourselves according to His perfect will. It's important to remember that our minds are a part of God's gift to us, and we should use them to make wise and responsible choices, as good stewards of that gift.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ~II Timothy 1:7
We can overcome, we can dwell in love, and we can be clear-headed in the face of tribulation—because that is a gift that God has granted us through Jesus Christ.