The truth about fear

Most people would say they have been afraid more times than they can count. But since early last year, for many (estimated at nearly forty million adults in the United States), occasional fears have melded into continual anxiety. And though no one wants to be afraid, common theories hold that fear is an inexorable part of life. 

Franklin Roosevelt, President during much of the Great Depression and most of World War II, rallied Americans at the peak of the Depression when he famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Christ Jesus, centuries earlier, went much further, showing women and men that they did not have to bow down to fear in any form, for any reason.

“It’s all right,” “Don’t be afraid,” “Don’t worry about things” (Mark 6:50, Matthew 6:25, The Living Bible), he told those who seemed in the grip of terror—for instance, a dad whose only child was dying, a man paralyzed for years, his own disciples on a ship in a violent storm, or a multitude of food-insecure poor people. Those diseases and discords were completely relieved, replaced by health, peace, security, provision. Was the Master just good at calming people, making them see that things really weren’t as bad as they thought? Or was there something else at work?

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Keeping Watch
Praying with spiritual authority
March 1, 2021

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