Most of us can honestly say that we have never seen times like these. These are extremely difficult times that we are living in. It is hard to see the anarchy that is happening in our nation right …
Most of us can honestly say that we have never seen times like these. These are extremely difficult times that we are living in. It is hard to see the anarchy that is happening in our nation right now. It is really tough to see people’s hard-earned businesses go up in smoke and to see so much confusion going on all around us.
Even though these are confusing times, it is great to know that God is not surprised by all that is happening. He is our anchor in these difficult days. There is a lot of fear and worry about people’s futures and many are wondering what their life is going to be like after the coronavirus has run its course.
In 2 Timothy 1:7, the founding fathers of the church were living in perilous times. Paul wrote a letter to encourage Timothy that he needed to stay strong. He said, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
They, too, were living in some really difficult times. There was a crazy man who was the leader of Rome, his name was Nero. He was killing Christians for fun and lighting his parties with Christians who were impaled on stakes and lit on fire. The early church was under attack and those who decided to follow Jesus were truly in danger. Paul writes to Timothy from prison, knowing that any day he could be executed.
Paul was a brave man who knew that to be with Jesus was better than to live in this mess in Rome. He encouraged Timothy that even though he was living in some terrible times that God would strengthen him. Paul writes this letter filled with love, concern, and encouragement. Timothy would need courage and determination to carry on the enormous responsibility of his calling to lead the church in spreading the gospel. Paul reminds Timothy that God has given us a sound mind.
This phrase, “sound mind” is taken from the Greek word sophroneo, which is a compound word combining sodzo and phroneo. The Greek word sodzo means to be saved or delivered. It suggests something that is delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged, and protected and is now safe and secure. One expositor suggests that the word sodzo could actually depict a person who was on the verge of death but then was revived and resuscitated because new life was breathed into him.
The second part of the phrase “sound mind” comes from the Greek word phroneo, which carries the idea of a person’s intelligence or total frame of thinking — including his rationale, logic, and emotions. The word phroneo refers to every part of the human mind, including all the processes that are engaged in making the mind function and come to conclusions.
When the words sodzo and phroneo are compounded into one word, they form the word sophroneo, which pictures a mind that has been delivered, rescued, revived, salvaged and protected and is now safe and secure.
In these trying times, if your mind is tempted to succumb to fear, as was the case with Timothy, you can allow God’s word and the Holy Spirit to work in you to deliver, rescue, revive, and salvage your mind. This means your thoughts can be shielded from the lies of the devil — ridiculous, unfounded and crazy thoughts that have tried to grip your mind in the past. All you have to do is grab hold of God’s word and his spirit.
I want to encourage you to press into the goodness of God and his love for you. Turn to him in these days, trust him with your whole heart, soul and mind. All who do this are eligible to receive the “sound mind” that Paul is talking about in this passage.
(Mike Walsh is the pastor of Glad Tidings Church in Powell.)