The Only Thing We Have to Fear...
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” So spoke President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his inauguration during the height (or depth?) of the Great Depression. There are times when fear is necessary, but it can also be debilitating or even paralyzing. When fear is in the driver seat of our hearts we find ourselves saying and doing things that reflect the most negative versions of ourselves. Again and again in Scripture tells us to “Be not afraid.” We need to be reminded again and again.
As our preaching series on the Shema wraps up on July 8th, we’ll begin a new series called Unafraid on the weekend of July 14-15. It is based on Pastor Adam Hamilton’s book Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times and we will look at a variety of fears that debilitate us, paralyze us, and make us the most negative versions of ourselves. After looking at the high anxiety of our times we’ll wrestle with our fears of people who are different from ourselves, being friendless and alone, catastrophe, growing old and even death.
As people of faith we are called to be of good courage, trusting in Jesus Christ, even when it feels like the sky is falling down around us. Adam Hamilton says, “You can never completely eradicate fear – you need it. But fear doesn’t have to control you…courage is not the absence of fear; instead, it is doing what you feel you should do, or what you long to do, despite the fear. As you press through your fear, you live a life of courage and hope.”
In the weeks to come consider the things that you fear and then consider whether that fear is healthy or beneficial. Once you’ve done this, turn your gaze to Jesus, who calls us out of fear and into faith.