2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."
Introduction: Distinguishing doubt, worry and fear
What is the difference between doubt, worry and fear? These three emotional and spiritual states are weaponry used by the enemy to plague the people of God. When taken up by the believer, each one sabtoges the ability to see God clearly. Doubt has to do with how I respond to God and His Word spoken to me in the past. Fear functions similarly, only it deals with how I respond to God in the present. If doubt has to do with what God said in the past and fear has to do with how I’m relating to Him in the present, then what about worry? Worry deals with my perceptions of what He will do in the future - all three of course are species of unbelief.
Consider the following thoughts from Psalm 37:
Psalm 37:8 states: “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Notice that underlined word “fret”? At least three times we find it mentioned in this Psalm. In the Hebrew language this word “fret” is translated for the term “chara”. Chara refers to literally getting oneself all hot and bothered or stirring up oneself into a heated frenzy. Does that describe how you are feeling and dealing with life? Do you feel pressure building in your gut, like you are going to explode? That’s exactly what the Psalmist is warning you and I about here. Thankfully He gives us this warning. So what is the solution offered by the Psalmist? Consider the next thought.
So if you are in the midst of darkness, note that God’s word gives you provision to enjoy an open heaven, a noonday sun despite the midnight of your circumstance. Psalm 37:7 tells us to “rest in the Lord” and in verse 8 to “cease from anger”. We are not promised immunity from trouble, however we are given the “rest of God” whereby we can rise above doubt, worry and fear.