For the God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but inherent ability and love and a saved frame of mind – 2 Timothy 1:7

Cowardice means to lack mental or moral strength. Jesus uses this concept of cowardice with the disciples when they feared for their lives while in a storm on the sea, in which Christ was in the stern of the boat asleep. Having woken Him up because the waves were covering the boat, they pleaded with Him to save them. Jesus responds to their fear with asking them why they are being cowards, and then rebukes the wind and the sea, Matthew 8:26.  At this point the disciples were aware that Jesus is the Messiah, and they had already seen some very incredible signs proving that He is in fact God in the flesh. Their cowardice was unfounded, for all they had to do was watch Jesus and they should have known not to fear.

In the upper room, just prior to Christ’s death and resurrection, when Jesus is giving the disciples instructions concerning the new relationship that is about to come into existence between God and man because of what He will face and His imminent victory over death and Satan, Jesus tells them that He leaves His peace with them. My peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. Not just as the world gives, I give you. Stop letting your heart be troubled nor cowardly, John 14:27. This peace that Jesus spoke about is one of the aspects of the fruit from the Holy Spirit by which the mind can be in an unruffled state, Galatians 5:23-24. The Christian has the ability, because of the filling of the Holy Spirit, to possess a mind that can in fact be secure enough to sleep during a storm that is swamping the boat they are in – so to speak.

In contrast to a cowardly spirit, God has given to us an inherent ability. This ability involves being able to live out the life we have in Christ, even when we face false imprisonment or persecution for speaking the truth, because He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness by His promises, 2 Peter 1:3. This tasting of the inherent ability of the coming age makes it impossible for us to lose our salvation, Hebrews 6:5, for we cannot be brought again to a change of the mind, because the Gospel has the inherent ability to save and no one can take that away, Romans 1:16. Even when we sin we still belong to God and He deals with us as children, not as sinners, 1 Corinthians 11:32. This inherent ability is because we are in Christ, and when we are living a life that manifests who we are in Christ, cowardice is not a part of our lifestyle.

Along with an inherent ability to live out the righteousness we have in Christ, God has given to us love and a saved frame of mind. This type of love always seeks the best for the one loved and never fails, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. A saved frame of mind focuses on the truth. A mind that is framed on the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, Colossians 3:1-3, so that we are setting aside the things of the old man and putting on the new man, who is being renewed in full experiential knowledge according to the image of the One who created it, Colossians 3:10. For we are the sons of God; the children of the light, and light fears no darkness, Ephesians 5:8.