Posts Tagged ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt’

h1

“SLAYING FEAR” – April 25

April 25, 2013

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. “ 2 Chronicles 20:12b      “…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Franklin D. Roosevelt after giving one of his ...“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

This is a quote that anyone who has studied 20th Century American History will recognize. It is a quote that gets dusted off when something disturbing happens.  It gets placed in the mortar and pestle of political speech writers to create various elicitors intended to inoculate the masses against discouragement.

However, the quote is somewhat ridiculous when taken out of the context of the speech.  The only thing that we have to fear is fear itself – really?  There are a lot of things in this world that worth fearing more than being afraid.

I would rather be afraid than:

…to have actual bombs be set off at marathons.

… gunmen shooting through schools.

…dictators launching nuclear missiles.

…planes flown into buildings.

…asteroids striking the earth.

…fertilizer plants exploding.

…storms washing away homes and businesses.

…cancer.

…bankruptcy.

…persecution.

…assault and rape.

…random accidents.

…chaos.

I would rather be afraid than have any of those bad events actually happen.  It seems to me that a more rational question is why aren’t more people afraid.

Fear Filled Bathtub

Fear Filled Bathtub (Photo credit: Kewima)

Fear is not a bad thing.  Fear serves a very important purpose.  The problem with many of the manifestations of this FDR quote is that they attempt to deny fear.  Fear was not intended to be denied.

We all live in a world that is beyond our control.  It is beyond the control of any individual person or government.

There are people in this world that will do bad things no matter what restrictions, incentives/dis-incentives, or educational efforts are made. 

There are acts of nature that no man-made edifices can withstand.  

There are forces in this world that are beyond our control. 

Fear shows us our powerless state.  It reveals our helpless condition.  Fear devours the adequacy of our answers.  There will inevitably come a time for every person when they simply do not know what to do.  We all are guaranteed to discover the inadequacy of our human answers in the face of the overwhelming power of death.  All of mankind is powerless to death.  Death should be feared by fallen man. It is foolishness to deny our powerlessness condition with trite quotes.

All fear, particularly fear of death, has a very important purpose.  Fear is a God created response in man that was designed to turn us toward God.

It is at the foot of fear where we are forced to admit that we do not know what to do.  Fear humbles us.  It is often only when our answers run-out that we look for answers beyond ourselves.  Fear has served its purpose when we are humbled under the mighty hand of God; when our answers have run-out and we turn our eyes onto God.  That is when he will exalt us.  God is our only true and complete answer to fear.

It is only in God that fear can actually be vanquished.  All other answers will only suppress and deny the fear of the powerless.  It is only when we place all of our hope in God our Father that we can know the joy that this world can do nothing to us of eternal consequence.

It is only in Christ when our battles become the Lord’s.

Fear can be a debilitating beast.  Fear can paralyze us.  If you are in Christ, you have been set free.  You have been set free from those real fears that bind and debilitate.  Set the fears that hinder you before our Lord, acknowledge that you don’t know what to do, and set your eyes upon Him and Him alone.  Cast all of your cares upon Him because he cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7)

We are powerless but we have a powerful God, who is for us.  Our battles are His battles and there is nothing that is too hard for Him.

May we pray the same prayer from FDR’s inaugural address that included the quote on fear, “…we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.” FDR’s First Inaugural Address .

PRAYER: Thank you for defeating sin.  Thank you for breaking death.  You reign in majesty and power.  Your kingdom cannot be defeated. All things are possible in You.  I have nothing to fear because of You.  I am secure in You.  I am victorious in You despite any pain, failure, heartache, or opposition.  I shall not fear.  I shall not fear!  I shall not fear for my hope is in You, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are my God and I will rest in You, to your praise and glory.  I praise You and pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

%d bloggers like this: