February 11, 2016

President Obama Speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

On this occasion, I always enjoy reflecting on a piece of scripture that’s been meaningful to me or otherwise sustained me throughout the year.  And lately, I’ve been thinking and praying on a verse from Second Timothy:  

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
 but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   
....
It is a primal emotion -- fear -- one that we all experience.  And it can be contagious, spreading through societies, and through nations.  And if we let it consume us, the consequences of that fear can be worse than any outward threat.
 
For me, and I know for so many of you, faith is the great cure for fear.  Jesus is a good cure for fear.  God gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind required to conquer any fear.  And what more important moment for that faith than right now?  What better time than these changing, tumultuous times to have Jesus standing beside us, steadying our minds, cleansing our hearts, pointing us towards what matters.  (Applause.) 
 
His love gives us the power to resist fear’s temptations.  He gives us the courage to reach out to others across that divide, rather than push people away.  He gives us the courage to go against the conventional wisdom and stand up for what’s right, even when it’s not popular.  To stand up not just to our enemies but, sometimes, to stand up to our friends.  He gives us the fortitude to sacrifice ourselves for a larger cause.  Or to make tough decisions knowing that we can only do our best.  Less of me, more of God.  And then, to have the courage to admit our failings and our sins while pledging to learn from our mistakes and to try to do better.