Back in the 1930s, in the midst of deep economic depression,
President Franklin Roosevelt offered these words in his inaugural address.
"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes
needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
He was speaking to people facing not only financial fear, but the fear of hunger, poverty, changes in society, changes in the world. In the face of growing anxiety, Roosevelt reminds us that fear (when blown out of proportion) is paralyzing. Fear that is not tempered by faith and hope can prevent us from living a full and free life.
In the book of Isaiah, God reminds us why we do not have to live in this state of fear.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41: 10
God reminds us that faith is the antidote to fear. God's love has the power to cast out fear (1 John 4:18).
What is the fear that is gripping your heart today? What is it that's paralyzing you and preventing you from embracing God's dreams for your life? Is it centered on finances? on health? on retirement? on marriage?
Whatever it is, turn to the Lord. Turn Isaiah's words into your prayer for today. Remind yourself that you are a beloved son/daughter of God, and that God is with you. God is your strength, your fortress, your deliverer.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to live in a constant state of fear. Help me to remember that you are God and that you are always near. Thank you for the gift of new life that is made possible by your sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for the invitation to lay down my worries, my fears, my sins, at the foot of the cross. I love you and desire to walk with you - this day and always. Amen.