THE GREATEST FEAR
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”
(2 Timothy 1:7)
In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States said these words at his inauguration: “So, first of all, 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.” These words were both electrifying and prescient. It gave belief back to a nation that languished in chronic unemployment to face hardship with great fortitude. It gave hope that the downturn could ultimately be defeated and the good days would come rolling back again. It made America ready to face anything! It made it great again.
Fear is not something that is automatically within us. Fear originates from without. That’s why the bible says: “God has not given us a spirit of fear..”. But how then does it enter our hearts? It does so when we give it permission to, either intentionally, or by default or through ignorance. And once fear enters, it is much harder to get it out! We should have no fear ruling us except the fear of God (Prov 1:7, 9:10, Psalm 111:10). For what rules us becomes our master. To feel fear is both natural and normal; it gives us a healthy respect for danger and is needed. But it should never rule us.
That’s why as we come to Anniversary Gift Day, we rise to celebrate and to give from a spirit of faith not fear! The nation may be going through economic challenges, a depreciation in our currency, the curbing of freedom of expression, threats from ISIS, Islamic parties pushing for hudud laws and volatile stock and commodity markets. We are aware of all these things but God’s economy for us is different from the world’s economy. We can either live in the blessed land of Goshen in the midst of the plagues or we can struggle with the rest of the world in Egypt. Fear consigns us to Pharaoh’s system. Only faith will keep us in Goshen. The greatest fear is fear itself.
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
PsDr Philip Lyn