“For God has not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
A Christian does not have to have fear, worry or be anxious. Paul said: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Instead of a Spirit of fear, we have been given a Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. We have fear when we have certain negative thoughts about ourselves and about our circumstances. We need to remember that the devil is the master at using our fears. However, when we focus on Jesus, then we will not have fear because we will be confident in Him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Paul is telling Timothy that we have not been giving a spirit of fear that is afraid of man and what they will say or do to keep us from the work of the Lord and the preaching of the Gospel. That we should not be afraid to oppose the errors of false teachers and stand firm for the truth, and that we have been given the Spirit of power to resist Satan’s temptations, to endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ and to do the will and work of God.
God’s Holy Spirit imparts to us His love, giving us the power to obey His laws in their full spiritual intent. The repentant sinner is then a changed person, his whole outlook and purpose is changed as he is led by the Spirit.
It takes the Spirit of God to produce a truly sound mind. This verse also implies that, as long as the mind is devoid of God’s Spirit, it cannot be considered to be truly healthy. Any mind that lacks the Holy Spirit will be deficient in the ability to cope with life in a godly manner because it cannot see things in a proper, righteous or unrighteous perspective. Instead, it will have a strong tendency to twist situations toward its own self-centered viewpoint.
Once regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we must continually be led by Him, bearing spiritual fruit throughout our lives. If we are producing the fruit of the Spirit, which exhibit a sound mind, we know He is working in us. The Spirit is the mind and essence of the divine nature, and through it God carries out His will. He empowers the mind to comprehend spiritual matters. The Spirit gives us the strength, will and faith to overcome our sins.
Conquering fear is not a matter of self determination; it is a matter of dependence on God our creator, whom we can trust and love. It is a matter of belief in His words, His promises, and His gifts to us. It is a matter of recognizing the devils pitiful attempts at crippling us with fear; and knowing God’s majestic grace in giving us power, love and sound mind.