Perceptions On Why God Did Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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There are two primary definitions of fear in the dictionary. The first is an unpleasant feeling that an actual or imagined threat, danger, or evil triggers. The other is reverent awe, like the awe of the Lord. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). So, why God did not give us a spirit of fear?

Scripture commands Christians to have no fear because we have God. Fear frequently has no basis in reality. According to the word’s definition, it cannot be used to refer to reverential awe because that would be illogical. Worse yet, when we are afraid, we forget that the spirit God gave us is within us and that it is not a spirit of cowardice. Take note that he is still in charge.

Key Takeaways

  • Christians are urged to overcome fear as it lacks a basis in reality and can lead to forgetfulness of God’s empowering spirit within.
  • Trusting in God’s nature and qualities provides comfort and protection amidst life’s uncertainties and challenges.
  • Embracing God’s love enables individuals to combat fear by surrendering control, seeking support from believers, stepping out in faith, practicing gratitude, and sharing personal testimonies.

Why God Did Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear?

God commands us to “be still and know that I am God” at difficult times. In other words, Psalm 46:10 instructs us to observe silence and to remember the Lord. Always remind yourself that the nature and qualities of God are, spiritually, like buckling up your seatbelt. Even though there may be more turbulence, you are safe and protected.

We can only learn to trust God in everything through the application of Scripture by the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We can get relief from the burden of stress as well as from the scourges of uncertainty and fear. We should stand out as individuals who take risks even when the future is uncertain, individuals whose lives show a quiet serenity and calm assurance because we have developed a perfect trust in God.

In the heart of a dense forest, a lone adventurer stands atop a cliff, overlooking a vast expanse of wilderness with no fear.

What Does It Mean To Not Have A Spirit Of Fear?

A person with a fearful or timid spirit may be reluctant to share the gospel or defend the accuracy of God’s word[1]. This occurs as a result of a sensation of impending threat or danger, whether it is genuine or imagined.

To put it another way, they are terrified of the repercussions of their conduct. The work of the kingdom of God is still important, but it is put on hold while this fear dominates. Not because they lack power but rather because they cease acting out of fear, this individual becomes paralyzed and ineffectual.

Fear is at the core of a great percentage of mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. We deal with a lot of tension, worry, and anxiety in this life because of a spirit of fear. In the end, fear will convince you that God is a liar, is not as good as he claims to be, and cannot be trusted. This cannot be. God is more merciful than we can imagine. He is nothing but pure goodness.

High above the clouds, a fearless skydiver leaps from an airplane, their body suspended in midair with no fear.

What Does The Bible Say About The Spirit Of Fear?

The Bible often tells us not to be afraid; some say it appears 365 times, but it is undoubtedly more than a hundred times. It is significant to notice that the Bible refers to a variety of fears. The fear of the Lord is one beneficial form. It is not necessary to be terrified of the Lord. Instead, it is a deep respect for the Lord and his grandeur. It results from understanding his greatness and generates wisdom and worship.

In our world, the concept of fear is not new. Fear appears in Scripture from the very beginning and permeates all of its pages. While fear may always be a part of our lives, how we deal with it is what counts. It is easy to let a spirit of dread possess you. Fear will prevent you from pursuing God’s calling in your life.

2 Timothy 1:7

The apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a clear mind.” Timothy needed motivation to overcome his cautious personality and be brave for the gospel, and Paul was aware of this. Initially, the word “fear” also meant cowardice or timidity.

Paul was urging Timothy not to allow the spirit of fear to prevent him from sharing the good news of Jesus with others. We could cower in the face of resistance, persecution, and hardship if we were under the influence of fear. The Holy Spirit of God desires for us to move confidently into his will.

Fear Turns Into Prison

“When the evening breeze was blowing, the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). God created Adam and Eve for His interaction with them. They freely conversed with God throughout their free days.

We want to hide from everyone, including God, when fear takes hold. We remain captives due to our fear. Fear can have complete power over us to the point where we turn away and hide from God, whether we fear the future, being sick, or losing our jobs. You can focus your attention on the One who aids in your transition from the darkness of fear to the light of freedom through prayer and worship in God’s presence.

How Should We Respond To Fear?

Applying God’s Word and your faith to the situation is the only way to overcome fear. There is no other way to have faith but to know God and his Word. God promised he would never desert or abandon you.

If God is for us, who can be against us? You may say with assurance, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Nothing can harm us if God is on our side, and no one can touch us (Romans 8:31; Psalms 118:6). His words claim that he has endowed us with a spirit of great power, love, peace, sound judgment, personal discipline, and self-control. Amid the chaos, God brings comfort.

God Has A Spirit Of Love For Us All

Perfect love wipes out all fear (1 John 4:18). Fear conjures up images of retribution, but when we experience God’s love for us, his mercy, his sound mind, and his forgiveness, we are free from worrying about what he might do to us. People who do not know the Lord are the only ones who fear Him.

Another solution to fear is love. Think of a father attempting to rescue his young child by running into a burning structure. Real love overcomes fear. As God’s children, we develop and sanctify ourselves through the sanctification process to the point where we genuinely love others. According to Ephesians 2:10, God has prepared good works for us to do so that we can complete them.

Hope Triumphs Over Fear

The world is not within our control. Despite our best efforts to plan for every scenario, we cannot control the weather, our health, other people, or anything else. But God is in complete control. Additionally, he is fully aware of what will occur. We can only overcome fear by placing our faith in him.

We can read his promises in his Word whenever we need to be reminded. We can communicate with our spiritual guides or pray to them. We will become more adept at overcoming fear the more we cling to him. We must allow God’s love to cast out fear, even if it takes some time.

a man standing in the middle of a forest and maze

How To Apply The Principles Of Fearlessness

Living a life free from fear is not an easy task, but with the guidance of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome fear and live in the freedom that God has promised us. Remember, living fearlessly is not about the absence of fear but rather choosing to trust in Christ Jesus and walk in faith despite fear.

  • Seek God’s presence: Spend time in prayer and worship, seeking a deep and intimate relationship with God. Draw near to him and allow his presence to fill you with peace and courage. The more you experience his love and faithfulness, the less power fear will have over you.
  • Surrender control: Recognize that you are not in control of every aspect of your life. Surrender your fears and anxieties to God, knowing that he is sovereign and has a perfect plan for your life. Trust in his guidance and allow him to lead you through challenging situations.
  • Surround yourself with faithful believers: Connect with a community of believers who can encourage and support you in your journey. Share your struggles and victories with them, and let them pray for you. Having fellow believers by your side can provide strength and accountability as you navigate through fear.
  • Step out in faith: Don’t let fear paralyze you from stepping into the purpose and calling God has for your life. Take bold steps of faith, trusting that God will equip and empower you. Remember that God has given you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Allow God’s Spirit to work through you, enabling you to overcome fear and make a difference in the world.
  • Practice Gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your daily life. Focus on the blessings and goodness of God, even amid challenging circumstances. Gratitude helps shift your perspective from fear to trust, reminding you of God’s faithfulness and provision.
  • Share Your Testimony: Be willing to share your personal experiences of overcoming fear with others. Your testimony can inspire and encourage those who are struggling with fear. By sharing how God has worked in your life, you can demonstrate the practical application of the principles of fearlessness and inspire others to trust in God.
A girl standing at the shore while big waves are approaching

Final Thoughts

Just one more reminder. Paul begs the reader not to worry in Philippians 4 and then provides two further “antidotes” to fear: prayer and expressing thanks. He instructs us to communicate our wants to God, but he does not mention how those needs will be satisfied. Instead, he assures us that Jesus Christ will keep our hearts and minds under the control of God’s peace.

To serve others and carry out God-honoring activities on earth, we must overcome fear through God’s love. The ability to conquer fear, the will to act in the face of difficulties, and the insight to recognize when action is required are all given to God’s children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean that God has not given us the Spirit of fear?

The phrase “God has not given us the Spirit of fear” suggests that fear is not a gift from God. Rather, it implies that God provides courage and strength to overcome fear and challenges, encouraging believers to trust in divine guidance and face adversity with confidence.

Who gives you the spirit of fear?

In religious contexts, the source of the spirit of fear is often debated. While some view fear as a natural human emotion, others see it as a negative force opposed to divine influence.

Those who hold the latter belief typically attribute fear to external factors like societal conditioning, personal experiences, or spiritual adversaries, suggesting it’s not a gift from a benevolent deity but rather a manifestation of human frailty or malevolent influences.

What is the difference between fear and the spirit of fear?

The difference between fear and the spirit of fear lies in their origin and depth. Fear is a natural response to perceived threats, while the spirit of fear is often viewed in spiritual contexts as a pervasive sense of dread attributed to supernatural influences.

While fear is transient and situational, the spirit of fear is seen as a deeper force stemming from sources beyond typical human experiences, such as spiritual warfare or malevolent entities. This distinction highlights the belief that the spirit of fear extends beyond mere emotions, encompassing broader spiritual dimensions.

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