Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" 

-- Romans 8:31

It was March 1933. The United States was in the midst of severe economic turmoil, with millions of people out of work, homeless and near despair. In that fourth year of The Great Depression, Americans needed solutions--and lots of hope.

That's when the newly elected president, RooseveltFranklin Delano Roosevelt ("FDR"), gave his first inaugural address to the nation. And he was quick to remind his fellow citizens that they had not failed. 

"Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid," explained Roosevelt, "we have still much to be thankful for."

Then came his speech's most memorable line: 

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Today, nearly 85 years later, some things haven't changed. We still seek shelter from our fears. Deep down, we may feel discouraged and abandoned because we don't sense God's presence. And our self-image is one of inadequacy. But the truth is that God knows the plans he has for us. Moreover, he sees us for what we can become rather than who we are at the moment.

Whatever we fear in this life, let's remember that we don't face it alone. In fact, it's when we're in God's presence that we're truly the most protected. It's all a matter of coming to our Father in prayer, listening for his response and guidance, and obeying accordingly in faith.

The Great Depression eventually ended with the United States emerging from World War II as the most powerful nation in history. FDR had successfully led America through years of economic turmoil and global conflict. But he knew that he could never alone conquer the giant called FEAR. The president instead relied on the guidance of Someone far more powerful and compassionate than he could ever be.

"In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God," concluded FDR's first inaugural address. "May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come."

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