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SWINDLE COLUMN: Confronting fear

Ten years ago, I wrote a column on the aspect of fear and hope in our lives. I also mentioned that a minister delivered a message that got my attention. 

The minister said that Satan has a shed where he keeps his tools of evil. Addiction, depression, hate, disloyalty, resentment, and anger are just a few of Satan’s precious items. Although he has many, Satan’s favorite tool is fear.

Fear combines some of the most powerful negative forces on Earth and in the spiritual realm. Fear is the basis of anger, hatred, and suffering. 

However, God gives us a more powerful tool than fear — him. 

Since I wrote my column about hope back in 2012, The United States has become even more politically and socially fractured. I invite you to watch a few minutes of any political talk show in the evening. You will see nothing but hate, finger pointing, and a total lack of civility.

Rarely, will you see any plausible suggestions for solutions.

Many of our people suffer from economic insecurity, problems at home, poor health and general unhappiness just to name a few. There is also widespread fear about COVID, our national security, our changing culture and violent domestic unrest.

Enemies across the globe pay close attention to the United States. Today, many of them perceive us as weak, entitled and crumbling. They also know that we are becoming a more secularized society every day; turning our back on God.

Fear lies underneath these and other struggles. The most difficult challenge is facing fear face to face. 

Fortunately, we are not alone. God is with us. If we trust him to lead us, we cannot go wrong. 

At work and home, when a situation begins to turn in the wrong direction, I immediately stop and step back for a few minutes or even hours. I seek God’s will for me and the power to carry that out. Oftentimes, just “getting out of the way” will solve the problem. 

Yes, this is much easier to write about than to carry out on a daily basis. But, God did not make his children perfect. He wants for us to rely on him. This is easier to do on some days. 

Hope does not come from the reliance on human power alone. Hope, like faith, is believing that God has a plan and is in control of that plan.

Just for today, I pray that I will believe that hope will overcome my own fears.

While I have turned my back on God many times in my life, the single piece of evidence that clearly makes the case for the power of hope is that he has never turned his back on me.