“SLAYING FEAR” – April 25

April 25, 2013

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. “ 2 Chronicles 20:12b      “…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Franklin D. Roosevelt after giving one of his ...“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

This is a quote that anyone who has studied 20th Century American History will recognize. It is a quote that gets dusted off when something disturbing happens.  It gets placed in the mortar and pestle of political speech writers to create various elicitors intended to inoculate the masses against discouragement.

However, the quote is somewhat ridiculous when taken out of the context of the speech.  The only thing that we have to fear is fear itself – really?  There are a lot of things in this world that worth fearing more than being afraid.

I would rather be afraid than:

…to have actual bombs be set off at marathons.

… gunmen shooting through schools.

…dictators launching nuclear missiles.

…planes flown into buildings.

…asteroids striking the earth.

…fertilizer plants exploding.

…storms washing away homes and businesses.




…assault and rape.

…random accidents.


I would rather be afraid than have any of those bad events actually happen.  It seems to me that a more rational question is why aren’t more people afraid.

Fear Filled Bathtub

Fear Filled Bathtub (Photo credit: Kewima)

Fear is not a bad thing.  Fear serves a very important purpose.  The problem with many of the manifestations of this FDR quote is that they attempt to deny fear.  Fear was not intended to be denied.

We all live in a world that is beyond our control.  It is beyond the control of any individual person or government.

There are people in this world that will do bad things no matter what restrictions, incentives/dis-incentives, or educational efforts are made. 

There are acts of nature that no man-made edifices can withstand.  

There are forces in this world that are beyond our control. 

Fear shows us our powerless state.  It reveals our helpless condition.  Fear devours the adequacy of our answers.  There will inevitably come a time for every person when they simply do not know what to do.  We all are guaranteed to discover the inadequacy of our human answers in the face of the overwhelming power of death.  All of mankind is powerless to death.  Death should be feared by fallen man. It is foolishness to deny our powerlessness condition with trite quotes.

All fear, particularly fear of death, has a very important purpose.  Fear is a God created response in man that was designed to turn us toward God.

It is at the foot of fear where we are forced to admit that we do not know what to do.  Fear humbles us.  It is often only when our answers run-out that we look for answers beyond ourselves.  Fear has served its purpose when we are humbled under the mighty hand of God; when our answers have run-out and we turn our eyes onto God.  That is when he will exalt us.  God is our only true and complete answer to fear.

It is only in God that fear can actually be vanquished.  All other answers will only suppress and deny the fear of the powerless.  It is only when we place all of our hope in God our Father that we can know the joy that this world can do nothing to us of eternal consequence.

It is only in Christ when our battles become the Lord’s.

Fear can be a debilitating beast.  Fear can paralyze us.  If you are in Christ, you have been set free.  You have been set free from those real fears that bind and debilitate.  Set the fears that hinder you before our Lord, acknowledge that you don’t know what to do, and set your eyes upon Him and Him alone.  Cast all of your cares upon Him because he cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7)

We are powerless but we have a powerful God, who is for us.  Our battles are His battles and there is nothing that is too hard for Him.

May we pray the same prayer from FDR’s inaugural address that included the quote on fear, “…we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.” FDR’s First Inaugural Address .

PRAYER: Thank you for defeating sin.  Thank you for breaking death.  You reign in majesty and power.  Your kingdom cannot be defeated. All things are possible in You.  I have nothing to fear because of You.  I am secure in You.  I am victorious in You despite any pain, failure, heartache, or opposition.  I shall not fear.  I shall not fear!  I shall not fear for my hope is in You, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are my God and I will rest in You, to your praise and glory.  I praise You and pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. It is because of fear that I got sober and got Jesus. I liked this post.

  2. Thank you for this post

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  4. Yes. It is very encouraging. I went through a time in my life when I was a Christian, but still struggled with fear. I was being oppressed by the enemy. God used Satan to draw me closer to God and set me free from fear. This article is a great reminder. Thank you!

  5. Very insightful! Thanks for sharing!

  6. JD, you say “Fear is a God created response in man that was designed to turn us toward God.” But in 2nd Timothy we read “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God doesn’t give us the fear to cause us to turn to Him, He gives us the sound mind to know there is no other option. John also says that “perfect love casts out fear. He who fears is not made perfect in love.” In other words, Love, God, makes His beloved child fearless.

    • I appreciate your comments and I probably should have been more careful in my writing. As I understand it, there are two types of fear for the believer; one that is good and one that is bad. The fear that comes from a lack of trust in the faithfulness or sufficiency of God is bad and sin. I believe that is the type of fear that 2nd Timothy and John are referring to.

      The good type of fear that I believe is a God created response is the fear of Him. I call the process of recognizing that there is no other option to God – fear – that comes from a rational mind created by God. Our God is awesomely powerful and opposed to sin.

      Belief in God is demonstrated by fearfully recognizing that you cannot escape Him or His wrath. Therefore, the only rational response is to throw yourself upon His mercy and grace and find sanctuary within Him. The proper fear of the Lord keeps our hearts from wandering away from Him, which is a very good thing that is full of peace and security and hope. It keeps us near to the merciful heart of God, our fortress, our refuge, our sanctuary, our shield, our sun. (1) We are told to fear God. If we are instructed to fear God, then I think that my statement of fear being a God created response in man designed to turn us toward Him is reasonably accurate, although it may have been more clearly stated. Here are some verses about the fear of the Lord
      Isaiah 8:13 says, “The Lord of Hosts, . . . let him be your fear, and let him be your dread, and he will become a sanctuary.”
      Psalm 25:14, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him; he makes known to them his covenant.”
      Psalm 31:19, “How abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind.”
      Psalm34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.” Psalm 103:11, “As the heavens are high above the earth so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.”
      Psalm 103:13, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him.”
      Psalm 145:11, “He fulfills the desire of all who fear him.”(1)
      (1) http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/a-woman-who-fears-the-lord-is-to-be-praised

      • But even in the “bad fear” we are told that perfect love casts it away, which means we are going to experience it and how we respond to it determines how it will affect us. As fallen humans when we are constantly tempted to fear, using that temptation to energize us to run to Christ so He can fill us with His Spirit of love, power and self control.

  7. JD,

    Terrific post. I like the way your mind works and the way you express yourself. Makes me think.

  8. Wow, what a great perspective. I tend to condemn myself when I become fearful, yet I should rejoice that my fear is a signal to remember who I am and Who God Is. We should not try to rid ourselves of fear, but use our fear to turn to Him. So Good! Thanks for the logic and the insight!!

  9. As always, I love your insights. I am reminded of the ‘don’t touch the burner on the stove’ warning of every parent. The pain which results ,whenever those rebellious ones touch anyway, serves as a powerful lesson in fearing getting burned again. Would that all would fear death to the point of surrendering to the One who can save from eternal fire.

  10. Very encouraging! Thank you for this post!

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