I’m not sure I can do this.
We’ve probably said those words to ourselves more than we would probably care to admit. Worse, it can sound like an alarm robbing us of peace and even sleep. We can even get to the point where we are paralyzed by the doubt and fear of “I’m not sure I can do this.”
Have you ever been there? Perhaps you were facing a major life change. Perhaps it was a calling you felt to do something big for God. Maybe it was something terrible and you just weren’t sure you had the strength to endure.
I’m not sure I can do this: the worn-out line of fear.
And we’ve all been there. Perhaps there’s some comfort in the fact that we are not the first Christians who’ve felt this way. Others have felt the shakiness in the stomach of doubt.
Even better: Scripture is not silent on how to send the shakes to the street.
Immediately following the message of verse 6, the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:7-8:
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.2 Timothy 1:7-8
Doubt does not come from the Lord. Doubt is a tool of Satan. Doubt robs you of confidence, both in yourself and the Lord. It forces you in the corner of worry and intimidation.
Timothy must have been feeling the overwhelming pressure of the responsibilities before him when Paul was encouraging him. Timothy was certainly feeling doubts in his calling. And so the imprisoned Apostle reminds young Timothy the Holy Spirit writes the truth of “power, love, and self-discipline” (verse 7) on the scrolls of our hearts.
Fear does not come from the Lord either. Fear leads us to spiritual cowardice. Under the pressure from the task before him, Timothy would have been tempted to run away. Instead, he is told to stand up and not to be ashamed—even of Paul’s current predicament.
It’s so easy to let our current circumstances deceive us into putting our eyes on the stress instead of the solution. We see the mountain falling on us, but we are called to see beyond the avalanche.
But we don’t just see beyond it because we trick ourselves. Not at all, dear one! We see beyond it because we look to the One who conquered death. We look to our Savior. Even our suffering has a purpose and brings God glory.
Looking fear and doubt “in the eye” and telling it to move aside takes discipline. This was the reassurance Paul was giving his son in the faith, Timothy: discipline yourself to stand. “Taking courage” is not as easy as reaching into a magic bag of faith and pulling out fairy-like faith dust. Taking courage is the process the Lord takes us through in order to prepare us for moments down the road when we will need even more courage.
Cowardice and Christianity do not belong in the same sentence, nor does faith and fear.
When we experience the temptation to run away from our faith, call out the voice of doubt telling you to give up because you can’t. Call out the voice of fear telling you that you are already defeated.
Because you, dear child of God, are a champion. You are part of the army of the redeemed. Your home is Heaven. Your Father has never lost a battle and He has promised to bring you through.
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