“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
God has called Christians. First, unto salvation offered by His Son, Jesus, and then Christians are called to walk worthy. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). However, many have quit with the calling unto salvation. However, read how a Christian is to then live. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Christians are called to live, not unto themselves, but for Jesus.
Why have many quit, just being content to be “saved”? For many, it may be the fear of what may come with the change of life that true salvation in Christ brings. First, one must die to self. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is a life change. The old life is gone, and a new life has begun. One that is to be centered on Jesus. What encouragement can we read about this fear? “7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:7-9). God does not want Christians to be afraid, but to recognize that God has a plan “according to his own purpose and grace” for each person who belongs to Him.
Do not think you are alone in this initial fear. Many are fearful – at first. However, God is good in that He encourages those who belong to Him. He reminds us that He will be with us, helping us accomplish the plan that He has for our lives. Read the small sampling of some encouragment found in the Bible.
- God encouraging Jeremiah: “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:8).
- God encouraging Moses: “And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain” (Exodus 3:12).
- Moses encouraging Joshua: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- God encouraging Joshua: “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5).
- Jesus encouraging Paul: “16. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17. Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send the, 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:17).
- God’s encouragement for Christians today: “5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).
When a Christian walks with the Lord, fulfilling the plan He has for that life, God will not only encourage, but also help that Christian. One should not be afraid of what “man shall do unto me”. What encouragement can we find when things do not seem to be happening according to how we may think they should happen? “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Do you walk with God, fulfilling His plan for your life, unafraid of what man may do?