3 Bible Ingredients to Beat Fear and Anxiety
I had a car accident about a month ago. I was driving, comfortably aware of the moment. Life was good, and then, BOOM! I instantly went into fight or flight mode. It took several hours for the adrenaline to settle down. It’s that feeling that suddenly, you don’t know what to do next. You stop! When the police officer came, I had a hard time articulating what I wanted to say. I wasn’t quite as clear-minded as I had been a couple hours early.
Fear is typically triggered by some actual threat we experience in our life. That’s a normal response to things that happen in life. Flying causes some people fear. I was on flight that took off from Tucson and an engine exploded upon takeoff, which hopefully was a once in a lifetime experience. Other things that can cause fear in your life might be a medical emergency, financial difficulty or watching your children navigate something difficult.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a general feeling that something is not right in the world. It’s an undercurrent. This is where people end up going to see people like me. They go see a counselor or they go see a doctor. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes out of this. People who have been through a traumatic event in their life like those in the military or those who have been in war, but PTSD can also occur in other situations. People who have been physically molested, hurt, robbed or experienced other traumatic events can have triggers that will set off that response again in their life.
Thirty-three percent of Americans experience anxiety at some point throughout their life. One in six Americans are on antidepressants now. That’s a 65 percent increase from 15 years ago. Depression is the number one mental illness in America.
There is a difference between fear and anxiety. God gives us three ingredients for dealing with fear and anxiety in 2 Timothy 1:7. The Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy, a young pastor just getting started in ministry. Timothy struggled with some fear in ministry, which is understandable, especially during the time in which he lived.
Paul, this senior, saintly, godly leader writes: “Timothy, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.” Let’s look at these three words.
In the Greek, the word power comes from dunamis, which is interpreted to mean dynamite. Dynamite-like power is at work in your life. It’s strong. It’s inherent. It’s powerful.
You have the Holy Spirit residing in you. You have God-given power within your life to deal with the fear or timidity that tries to overtake your life.
The love Paul encourages you to embrace is evidenced by extending goodwill toward others. Its love focused on caring for other people. When you’re dealing with anxiety and fear, it’s truly helpful to get outside of yourself, and to see and to connect with other people.
- Sound Mind
And finally, God has given you a sound mind, which really means self-control – not only in your thinking, but also in your behavior.
God has given you three ingredients – dynamite power, goodwill toward others and self-control to overcome fear and anxiety. I pray you will refuse to allow anxiety and fear to become a hijacked emotion in your life.