Many of us are understandably fearful at this time. However, in his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul encourages him with these words,
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
(2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
The fear that is in us because of the current pandemic does not apply only to the timid, like Timothy, but to all of us. Fear is real. Fear can be irrational. Fear paralyzes.
While the virus’ detrimental effect has become global, God’s grace upon us is universal. Paul encourages us with these words, “God has given us…”. No one is excluded from God’s grace. God has given us a triad of graces: power, love, and a sound mind.
First, power does not come from within, but from above, as we cry out to God, our Abba Father. The Spirit we receive does not make us slaves to fear but brings about our adoption to sonship. We cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:14-15). We have a Father in heaven who cares. We do not have to be paralyzed by fear.
Second, the spirit of love is desperately needed to counteract not only the physical virus, as we reach out to those in need, but also the virus of hatred and stigma, which is just as virulent and destructive. All the more, at this time, as God’s holy people, we are called to serve with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
Third, we are given the spirit of a sound mind. Probably all our plans in the coming months will be disrupted, if they have not been already. As we continue to make difficult decisions, God has promised to give us a spirit of a sound mind to make wise and appropriate choices.
Yes, we may be fearful because of the virus. But God, by his redeeming grace, will enable each one of us to continue to give our best as we serve with power from above, love for others, and a sound mind to make wise decisions.