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“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt said one of this nation's most iconic phrases. Here are a few words he spoke in his 1933 inauguration:

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency, I will address them with candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured and will revive and prosper. 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.”

What he was saying is that we can accomplish great things if we look at the problems head-on rather than being held back by doubt and fear.

As much as I want to agree with this, I just can’t.

Roosevelt was trying to quell the panic of the crisis in which Americans and the rest of the world were enduring, urging them not to fall into the trap of unreasoned, unjust terror which stopped them from moving forward. 

Fear itself is not wrong. God created us to be “fearers”. Fear is a faith-revealer. 

What we fear reveals what we trust. 

Fear drives our behavior. But it’s not that fear is our problem, it’s that we fear the wrong things. We fear the wrong things because we place our faith in the wrong things. And when we place our faith in the wrong things, it creates unbelief. 

Every time we fear something that God tells us not to fear, it is a moment of “unbelief exposure”. It reveals a place within our hearts that has yet to be dealt with. 

A great example of this is Israel’s conquering of the Promised Land. God instructed them: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 AMP


God called the Israelites to face their fears - and they were afraid - because He wanted them to put their trust in the right Hope: “It is the Lord your God you shall fear.” Deuteronomy 6:13

Putting their trust in God, understanding and knowing the One they should fear, would free them from fearing the wrong things. The same is true for us.

If the Lord has you facing “giants”, whatever they may be, and you find yourself fearful and struggling with unbelief, you can trust in His words and be encouraged:

Deut. 31:6 -“Be strong and courageous……

Job 28:28 - “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

Psalm 34:9 - “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack.”

Isaiah 35:4 - “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God…He will come and save you.”

There is only One we have to fear, and it is not fear; it is the Lord our God. If we let him, He will use our fear to teach us faith. 

Take some time this week to prayerfully consider what you’re afraid of. What do your fears reveal about where you’ve placed your trust? What do they reveal about your faith? If you are trusting in anything other than God, confess that to Him, and welcome His forgiveness. Then ask Him to renew your trust and strengthen your faith in Him, and watch to see how He answers.

He is so faithful!



Anchor and Key ministries exists to empower individuals and churches to grow in freedom principles and practices to bring glory to God and build a strong body of Christ, free and whole to proclaim His love and message.


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