... AND GOD IS STILL FAITHFUL
He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline. — 2 TIMOTHY 1:7
Over and over the words, “this is still hard” seasoned the conversation. As I sat among a group of women listening to each one share stories and experiences from recent days, this seemed to emerge as the common theme. For the most part, the conversations centered around our current season and the questions it continues to bring: social distancing or no social distancing? Masks or no masks? Vaccine or no vaccine? “Normalcy” or far from it?
At one point, I looked around the room and realized each woman represents a family, a schedule, a thought life, and a worldview. We brought different opinions, experiences, and questions without answers. However, as we said, “this is hard” a more important theme emerged: we will admit our fears and uncertainties, then move forward in faith.
Paul writes of his deep love for Timothy at the beginning of his second letter to him. He commends Timothy’s faith and praises the rich spiritual heritage he is blessed with in his grandmother and mother. He urges Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God.” But he doesn’t stop there, Paul writes:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
Timothy had received a gift from the Spirit and a call from the Lord. He had a big mission ahead that would be hindered if he allowed fear, uncertainty, or timidity to control or alter his steps.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to fulfill the same mission as Timothy: go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Like Timothy, we have been given access to power, sound judgment, and love through the Spirit. Timidity, cowardice, and fear should not and cannot dictate our steps.
So, what does this look like when the questions we ask don’t have clear answers? How can we take steps of faith when many things seem grey instead of black and white?
Like so much of this past season, there are still not a lot of straightforward answers, but there are straightforward principles rooted in the Word of God we can put into practice.
1. Seek the Lord (Matthew 7:7)
Paul makes it clear we have been given sound judgment in Christ. He wants us to pray in moments of uncertainty, to ask Him what’s best, to capture our thoughts and measure them against the Word of God. Diligently seek Him at the crossroads. He will be faithful to answer.
2. Consider others above yourself (Philippians 2:3-4)
Ask yourself, am I looking out for the interests of others? For some, this may involve reevaluating your concern for health and safety and then stepping out in faith. For others, it might be a call to be more sensitive to other people’s fears, desires, and convictions.
In 1 Corinthians 9:22, Paul writes, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might win some to God.” The Gospel message was a priority above his comforts, above his preferences, and above his desires. It should be our priority, too.
3. Admit your fears… then lay them at the feet of Jesus (Psalm 56:3)
The Psalmist wrote, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” Not if I am afraid, but when I am afraid. Because we are humans living in a state of brokenness, we will have fears. However, when we choose to admit those fears and trust in the Lord's faithfulness, we become living displays of the Gospel at work.
Think and Pray
God is sovereign over this season. He comforts, He guides, and He gives discernment. This is still hard, and God is still faithful.
Father, You are faithful and sovereign over all things. I come before You admitting my fears and uncertainties this season. Would You help to direct my steps and open my eyes to the needs of others? I need You. I trust You. Amen.
Samantha Decker is a book lover, coffee-connoisseur, wife, mom of boys, writer, and above all, a follower of Jesus. She and her husband, Dustin, live in Oklahoma City and serve at Quail Springs Baptist Church. You can connect with Samantha on Instagram or through her newsletter at samanthadeckerwrites.com.