A short thought for today as I have reflected on the true opposite of fear. In a previous post I identified the opposite of fear as “fearlessness” but in the scriptures I see a different opposite emerging. When you consider Paul’s teaching in 2 Timothy 1:7, that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” it seems pretty clear that the opposite of fear is power/Godly strength, love, and a sound mind (I think of stability, clarity in judgment).
Jacob’s preaching to the Nephites recorded in Jacob 3:2 bears this out in my mind. He writes: “receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.” Jacob’s words struck me as a prophetic repetition (when multiple prophets teach the same principle in different times and places), inviting the people to enjoy the bounty of God’s love through His word (teachings, doctrine, repentance, etc.). The finally phrase suggested to me that we can enjoy God’s love forever if our “minds are firm,” but also that God’s love builds firmness of mind or a “sound mind.”
Fear can be so unsettling, especially to the human mind. Fear can cause doubt, anxiety, lapses in judgment, crises of faith, despair, and more. But if we feast on God’s love, we can have a firm mind, namely neither be fearful nor be subject to the effects of fear. In God’s love we can experience peace and hope, exercise sound judgment, be wise and calm, find optimism and rest.