While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. – Luke 1:11-12

Fear is an interesting emotion. The more we give in to being afraid, the more afraid we tend to become.

When Zechariah saw an angel, his reaction was the same as Mary’s reaction when an angel visited her. Both were overwhelmed with fear. But in each case, the angel’s message to them was, “Don’t be afraid” (Luke 1:13, 30). God does not want his people to live in fear!

Often, when we give our lives away to the seeming needs of others, our basic motivation is fear. We are afraid to be ourselves and afraid of others’ reactions. (If you struggle with such feelings, know that you are not alone.) God provides what we need to live beyond these fears: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Notice that Paul states this to his protégé, Timothy, as something that has already happened. God has given us power. If we’re still living in fear, we simply haven’t chosen to receive this gift.

Ask Yourself
Describe a typical situation in which you feel fear. How could you move against that fear?

Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7 and repeat it to yourself whenever you are faced with a fearful situation.

Ask God
God of power and love, thank you for your gift of power, love, and self-discipline. Help me to trust you and face fearful situations in your power. Help me to hear your voice saying to me, “Don’t be afraid.”

Taken from Take Your Life Back Day by Day copyright © 2016 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.