‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ Psalm 118:6 NKJV
During the Great Depression unemployment hit 25 percent of the American population. Savings accounts were wiped out by bank failures, farmers lost their land to repossessions, and people were having trouble just feeding their families. During this dark time Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation in these words: ‘Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.’
What most people didn’t realise is that the president himself had experienced some dark hours during which fear paralysed him. Roosevelt was born a child of privilege and educated in Europe, at Harvard, and at Columbia Law School. But at age thirty-nine, he was stricken with a case of polio that left him severely disabled. During his recovery he developed an extreme fear of fire. He worried he wouldn’t be able to escape because of his disability. But in time he overcame his fear, regained the use of his hands, and even learned to walk again with the aid of braces. He re-entered the political arena—fearlessly campaigning to become the governor of New York, which he did in 1929. He then went on to become one of America’s greatest presidents and guided the nation to victory in World War II. In his memoirs Roosevelt recalls how when he turned to God for help, courage, and guidance, he received them.
Are you afraid today? If you are, stand on this promise: ‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’
SoulFood: Job 8–10, Matt 23:1–12, Ps 115, Pr 8:1–3
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023