by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Broken by Fear (4 of 12)
Series: Psalms of the Broken Hearted
Stephen Whitney
Psalm 39

The early days of 1933 were among the bleakest in the history of the United States as the Great Depression settled down across the country. Some 13 million people were unemployed and the failure of the banking system had crippled the nation. During this time a new President was elected, who knew what is was like to face difficulties because he was handicapped. Leading the nation from his wheelchair, Franklin Delano Roosevelt recognized that the greatest failure was not the economy, but the failure of courage in the face of difficulty.

For that reason on March 4, 1933 as he delivered his first inaugural address, President Roosevelt called the citizens of the U.S. to look fear in the face and not to be afraid. He said, ''So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustifed terror which paralyzes
needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.''

Our English word fear comes from the Latin word danger.
Webster defines fear as: ''a painful emotion excited by an expectation of evil or apprehension of impending danger.''
We can be afraid of darkness, height, water or almost anything.
We can be afraid of our future, health, security or wealth.

Fear is the overwhelming enemy of our hearts and spirits.
It will paralyze us from doing something or trusting God.

Fear is the opposite of faith. While faith trusts, fear retreats.
Puritan William Greenhill wrote, ''Our help is in the name of the Lord, but our fears are in the name of man.''

David addresses his concern that our lives are so short and the fear that his life will end too soon. This prayer could have been written when Absalom forced him to flee from Jerusalem. He feels that his life is in real jeopardy if the rebellion succeeds.
Our of fear for his own life he offers an honest prayer to God about his fear of soon losing his ...

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