“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” II Timothy 1:7
Keeping this verse within its biblical context we should be reminded of where Paul is. He is in a Roman jail soon to be executed for his faith in Jesus Christ. He is now encouraging Timothy to continue on in the midst of trials and persecutions and stand firm in the name of Jesus.
The world that we live in today is becoming increasingly hostile to those who stand up for their faith. Christians around the world today are being murdered, tortured, and imprisoned for their faith. Although we don’t fear those things in the U.S. we clearly see attempts at character assassination on the rise for those who claim the name of Christ and stand up for biblical principles. Later in this same letter Paul told Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12).
Paul was encouraging Timothy not to focus on what man is capable of but to stay focused on the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Our reverent fear should be the awe of God rather than the roar of man.
God has not given us a spirit of timidity, or fear. If God has not given it to us than who has? Satan! Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of who we are battling with, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our struggle is not with other people; it is with Satan and his demonic army. We as Christians need to make a choice; are we going to believe the lies of Satan or are we going to stand firm for Jesus? Satan will stop at nothing to prevent every Christian from standing firm in their faith. Why? Because he knows that the Christian who stands up in the Spirit of God is dangerous and deadly to his kingdom.
Remember though, God has not given to us a spirit of timidity. However, He has given to us a spirit of power. Power to stand firm in the name of Jesus and overcome all Satan throws our way. He has given to us a spirit of love. The kind of love that overcomes even the most fierce forms of hate and says, Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing, remembering that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. He has given to us a spirit of discipline. Discipline as of an athlete who stays focused on the goal regardless of the opponent’s efforts to stop him, knowing that the end result of faith and service of Christ is worth every effort. The faithful Christian knows once he reaches the goal the sufferings of this temporary life will be forever behind him and that his service to the Lord will be eternally rewarded. Therefore, stand firm.