By Dr. Randy Carlson
Founder, Intentional Living
Fear is typically triggered by some actual threat we experience in our life. That’s a normal response to many things that happen on life’s journey.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a general feeling that something is not right in the world. It’s an undercurrent. People who’ve been physically molested, hurt, robbed or experienced other traumatic events can have triggers that will set off that response again in their life.
Research shows 33 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.
There’s a difference between fear and anxiety, and God gives us three ingredients for dealing with them both in 2 Timothy 1:7. It says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.”
Let’s look at three important words in that Bible verse:
In the Greek, the word “power” comes from dunamis, which is interpreted to mean dynamite. Dynamite-like power is at work in your life. You have the Holy Spirit residing in you. You have God-given power within you to deal with the fear that tries to overtake your life.
The love this verse encourages you to embrace is evidenced by extending goodwill toward others. It is love focused on caring for other people. When you’re dealing with anxiety and fear, it’s truly helpful to get outside of yourself, to see and to connect with other people.
- Sound Mind
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 to overcome fear and anxiety—dynamite power, goodwill toward others and self-control. I pray you will use them to refuse to allow anxiety and fear to hijack your life.