A Spirit of Power
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Editor
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Sometimes, the world can be a scary place. Scratch that, sometimes it can be downright terrifying. War, sickness, corruption, injustice, death, every day brings something new to worry about. As Christians, we know God has a plan for our lives, but we also know that doesn’t make us immune to pain and suffering. So how can we possibly go about our lives when faced with so much uncertainty?
We might start by looking at the apostle Paul. Paul knew what it was like to live in uncertainty. Throughout his life he was blinded, beaten, shipwrecked, exiled, and imprisoned on multiple occasions. The temptation to give in, and let fear ruin him, must have been enormous. Yet, look what he writes in his letter to Timothy,
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” – 2 Timothy 1:7-10
Yes, there are many frightening things out in the world, but God did not give us a spirit of timidity. God gave us a spirit of power. His Holy Spirit lives in us, and it reminds us in that still, small voice to be brave even in the face of danger. Paul knew that his life would be hard, and that in following Christ he would likely lose it, but that knowledge didn’t take away his courage. Instead, he strove to live in a way that glorified God.
None of us know what the future may hold. We might find ourselves facing challenges we never thought we’d have to endure. When that happens, we must remember to have courage like Paul. If we do, we will be able to meet whatever comes and not be ashamed.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Take time to examine the life of Paul. Remember, he did not rely only on himself, but on God and those around him for support.