You know, the whole world is afraid, but the whole world is looking at us. If we are to be also afraid, then what advantage do we have over them? How can we even give them the hope and the amazing promises and the great joy of salvation and the peace that surpasses all understanding, when we ourselves don’t exercise that joy or that peace. Fear not, He said. The Bible says that we in these times, we should have power. We should have love, and we should have sound mind.
Bible Bite: Power, Love and a Sound Mind
The things God has done for us and given to us are endless. Each day is met with new mercies (Lamentations 3:23). We have sufficient grace to endure any circumstance (2 Corinthians 12:9). He promised to supply all our needs according the riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Last week we looked at our justification as one of the blessings we have received:
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
The word justifies means, “to render innocent or to be freed”. God, through Jesus, has rendered a verdict in our case and it is that we are innocent in Christ Jesus and the Son has made us free! The world can say what they want about us and think what they want about us, but the One who matters the most has looked at us through the lens of His Son’s blood and said all charges are dropped against everyone who has been born again.
Because we have been justified there is something else God has given to us:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
It has been said: All means all, all the time. As those who love God, we can live with this expectation. Even when things aren’t going so well at the moment, all things will work together for good. During those times when we are waiting for that to happen we can also be thankful for what God has not given us.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
The Greek word translated as “fear” can also be translated as “timidity” or “cowardice”. That means that in the midst of life’s intimidating circumstances, when we’re waiting for things to work together for good, when the tribulations of this life come, we do not have to be intimidated by them, even though we want things to end or change.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Peace, tribulation, and good cheer might seem like contradictory terms or conflicting simultaneous experiences, but they are in fact the end result of not having been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
Another thing we should be thankful for is that God has not provided in these promises exceptions or exemptions.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
As God’s child He has justified you, rendered you innocent, and there are no exceptions among the born again. As God’s child He has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind and there are none who are exempt from this.
That means when you feel like the Israelites with your back to the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army is closing in, God is getting ready to part the sea. That means that when the councils of the world tell you not to speak in Jesus name like the Jewish council did to the apostles, you need not fear telling the world about Jesus.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.
This may have originally been written to Israel but the content is for all servants of the Lord. It is part of our heritage that weapons formed against us will not prosper. The Hebrew word for prosper means “be effective”. Nothing the enemy throws at us can deactivate or nullify the power, love, and sound mind that God has given us.
That doesn’t mean that things won’t hurt. It doesn’t mean we will have an emotionally pain free existence. It does mean that we have the power to maintain a sound mind when weapons are formed against us and tongues speak against us in judgment.
The world is becoming more “antichrist” by the hour. Christian principles and Biblical morals are viewed as evil, and the tongues of much of the world are speaking in condemnation against us. God has not given us the spirit of timidity or cowardice as we face these realities. As a matter of fact these realities are great opportunities!
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
“They” in this verse are the Sanhedrin, the highest court and supreme council of Israel. When they saw how bold Peter and John were and they perceived that they had not been to rabbinic school or been trained as Pharisees, their conclusion was that they had been with Jesus. Why did they arrive at that conclusion? They saw their boldness. Two fishermen, standing boldly before the highest court in the land, unintimidated, led the council to say:
“What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.
Because Peter and John had not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind, the council, who sought to intimidate them, were intimidated by them instead, because the people had seen the power of God and the boldness He gave these men.
Remember, there are no exceptions or exemptions from these truths among born-again believers. Be bold for Jesus today – people are watching!
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus