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.” (NKJV)
Faith is a funny thing. It can be strong and thriving in families, even from generation to generation like it was in Timothy’s grandmother and mother; but it can also, at times, become weak and timid. Faith can grow in several ways, especially by hearing the Word of God: Whether by promise, an inner witness while reading Scripture, praying alone, or hearing the Word taught. Or it can also be ignited when we receive gifts from God, like through prophecy or through laying- on of hands (as Timothy received through Paul).
But what do we do when our faith becomes weak? And how can we recognize that our faith is weakening? I’ve found that one of the symptoms of a weakening or faltering faith is when we become timid and afraid. Rather than being bold and full of confidence in God, we withdraw and feel overwhelmed. Our circumstances can seem larger than the grace that has been given us, and we shrink back. Afraid and intimidated, we can then become paralyzed.
Stir It Up!
Thankfully, God is willing and able to reinforce our faith and help us to overcome. First, in order to strengthen our faith, we can start by stirring up what we have already been given. Bring words of praise and acknowledgment before God. Declare what He has already said, given, and promised you, as you rekindle the fire and light that first came when the gift was given to you! Like a smoldering campfire, about to extinguish, you can stir up its embers and put more wood on the fire. In no time, it’s soon blazing again. Your heart becomes that re-ignited campfire, encouraged in God’s Word, His promises, His love, and His vast ability to do what you cannot do yourself.
Add This Fuel to your Faith
Second, we get to add fuel to our faith: Power, love and a sound mind! Faith needs the power of God to thrive. I am more aware than ever before of my dependence on the power of God to believe, to grow strong in faith, and for Christ to dwell in my heart. Without God’s power, at best I am left to mental agreement, emotional zeal, and a strong will. These always eventually lose their strength and momentum. In time, I’m left like those smoldering embers, feeling weak and overwhelmed.
The Assurance of Being Loved
However, the Good News is that God’s power is always available and present in our hearts through His glory in the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit brings us needed strength and then pours God’s love, without measure, into our thirsty hearts. Truly, God’s love is security and trust unlike anything the world can offer. The assurance of being loved then drives out fear, because fear torments the mind. A sound mind is a mind disciplined in the love of God; kept by the power of God; immersed in His goodness and willingness; and fully assured of His faithfulness and ability. A sound mind is thinking from the truth and not the lie.