Focus on Christ – Not on Fear

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless,
unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed
efforts to convert retreat into advance”
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first inaugural address, March 4, 1933)

Weltschmerz—a German word meaning world-pain or world-weariness is used to describe mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state. Based on the anxiety and concern contained in reports and letters we receive from those we serve, as well as a general condition of weltschmerz in our society, there is no doubt that fear, worry, stress and tension are wreaking havoc in the lives of many. Many, reacting to an endless stream of negative and depressing news, report that they are virtually paralyzed with fear.

Fear is the very antithesis of the spiritual vision God gives—it’s a spiritual malaise which causes those who fall prey to it to see things that do not, and may never, exist. In Don Quixote, Cervantes observed “fear has many eyes and can see things underground.” Disheartening and distressing news, whether in our personal lives or in that of the world at large, can cause some to not merely fear the present, but to become paranoid about the future. But when we realize that God already lives in tomorrow, we need not overly fear the future.

Some believe that daily news reports signal that the “time is short” and that we are living in the “last days.” In one sense, I absolutely agree. These are the last days for each of us, just as every human being who has ever been born in the history of this tired old earth once lived in the “last days.” News flash! Each of us has a finite period of time during which we live out our physical lives. From that perspective, all of us alive in these early years of the 21st century are living in the last days—just like every other human being who has ever lived.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless,
unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed
efforts to convert retreat into advance”
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first inaugural address, March 4, 1933)

Weltschmerz—a German word meaning world-pain or world-weariness is used to describe mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state. Based on the anxiety and concern contained in reports and letters we receive from those we serve, as well as a general condition of weltschmerz in our society, there is no doubt that fear, worry, stress and tension are wreaking havoc in the lives of many. Many, reacting to an endless stream of negative and depressing news, report that they are virtually paralyzed with fear.

Fear is the very antithesis of the spiritual vision God gives—it’s a spiritual malaise which causes those who fall prey to it to see things that do not, and may never, exist. In Don Quixote, Cervantes observed “fear has many eyes and can see things underground.” Disheartening and distressing news, whether in our personal lives or in that of the world at large, can cause some to not merely fear the present, but to become paranoid about the future. But when we realize that God already lives in tomorrow, we need not overly fear the future.

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