In 1933, the United States was suffering beyond anything any of us can now possibly imagine. Poverty, lack and want ravaged America.

The U.S. was in the unswerving grasp of the “Great Depression”. The “Great Depression” was the economic disaster of all time. It was a worldwide event. In the U.S., one of the milestones that triggered the worst circumstances was the stock market crash of Tuesday September 29, 1929.

The depression attacked every area of the economy. It brought massive unemployment. In 1929, there were 33 million employed Americans. By 1933 this number had dropped by 10 million to 23 million.

Rural areas were devastated by low crop prices that dropped by as much as 60%. Massive unemployment, low profits, low prices on goods, high poverty, tremendous homeless rates and a state of mental depression, racked the land.

In January of 1933 in the midst of this national nightmare, the newly elected President, Franklin Roosevelt gave a powerful speech in his inaugural address. Here are a few highlights:

” This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. “

“This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first let me assert my firm belief, that all we have to fear is fear itself. Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror. Which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Roosevelt went on to outline the steps he thought were necessary to bring recovery to America. He closed his address with this comment. ” In this dedication of a nation 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.”

“All We Have To Fear, Is Fear Itself.”

In today’s America we have economic challenges for sure. The credit slump has seriously impacted the Housing and Automobile industries. There are other rough spots that need immediate and effective correction as well. But we are not in a recession. However, we surely can and without change, will talk ourselves into one. More than once since the great depression we have talked ourselves into economic disasters. It is in times such as these, that the Negative and neurotic rise to their highest heights. The nattering nabobs of negativity find comfort in dragging even the most positive among us into negative speech and thought, whenever our economy slows in the slightest.

Phrases like, “out of an abundance of caution” become common speak. Business People used to making calculated risks begin to “coach not to lose”. Those who think and speak positively are labeled as “careless optimists”.

We should not stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is wrong. But we should as Franklin Roosevelt did, ask for the blessing and guidance of God.

We should proclaim the power of American ingenuity and believe that with God’s guidance, we cannot fail to find and implement the corrections necessary to repair what is in need of repair.

Above all, we should and must rely on the Word of God. We must guard our hearts and minds from fear. God knows that we tend to be fretty and fearful. That is why whenever a representative from God appears, the first words spoken are… “FEAR NOT”.

People who are afraid stop buying. When people stop buying, the economy slows down. When the economy slows down people panic and stop buying. It is a repugnant cycle.

When we listen to negative thoughts and words they take root in our hearts. When negativity and fear take root in our hearts, they come out of our hearts in the form of words. When we speak negative thoughts, they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Here is the Word of God straight out of the mouth of Jesus about how this works:

” Oh generation of vipers, how can you, being evil (unbelievers) speak good things? For out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart the mouth speaks. (What is in your heart, what you believe, will come out of your mouth) A good man (a believer) out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things; an evil man out of the evil of his heart brings forth evil things”
(Matthew 12:34&35)

Think about the irrefutable truth of this teaching. If we have fear, resentment, bitterness, anger, bigotry, anxiety or jealousy in our hearts, they will come out in the words that we speak. The words that we speak create the world that we live in. Because:

” For verily, (truthfully) I say to you that whosoever shall SAY to this mountain, be you removed and be you cast into the sea: AND DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, but BELIEVES that those things which he says shall come to pass: HE SHALL HAVE WHATSOEVER HE SAYS,”

(Mark 11:23)

Often when we make faith statements, those statements are tempered in a deep seeded disbelief that they will come to pass. On the other hand, when we make statements like…” I think I am catching the flu” they are backed by a doubtless belief. Unfortunately, so are words like… “We are in a recession”.

This is why we believers must tame our tongues. Consider this teaching from James the brother of Jesus:

” Behold, we put bridles in horses mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about the whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor leans.”

” Even so, the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire starts. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

” For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed and has been tamed of mankind:

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

“Therewith (with the tongue) we bless God even the Father; and therewith (with the tongue) we curse men, who are made in God’s image.?”

” Out of the same mouth proceed blessings and curses. (I am a blessed and prosperous sales person, the promises of God are true. Others may lose, but I will win. God loves me and has predestined me to succeed in good times and in bad times… blessings) (I am going broke, the deal is not coming in, God doesn’t care about me, I am going down… curses) My brothers, this should not be so.”

” Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”

” Can the fig tree my brothers, bear olive berries, or a vine, figs? So can no fountain bring forth salt water and fresh.”

” Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

” For if you have bitter envying or strife {as well as unbelief, fear, doubt and anxiety} in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”

“This wisdom descends not from above but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”

” For where envy and strife {as well as unbelief, fear, doubt and anxiety} is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

” But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to accept, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
(James 3:3-18)

Our example of how to face scary situations comes from a teaching by Jesus to a ruler of the Synagogue whose daughter was deathly ill. The girls Father went to find Jesus so that Jesus could heal her. On the way to Jesus the daughter died. It is not possible to face a more fearful situation than the death of one’s child. Jesus instructed the Father Jairus…
” Be not afraid, only believe.”
(Mark 5:36)

Then Jesus went to Jairus’ home and raised the girl from the dead.

In times that are fearful, it is best to tame our tongues and make a decision to make positive confessions by making decisions to trust God. If you are fearful about the economy or anything, I triple dog dare you to repeat this confession several times a day for thirty days:

” The Lord is my Shepherd…I SHALL NOT WANT!” (I shall not lack anything)

“He makes me to lie down in! GREEN PASTURES!”
(There is not a more prosperous scenario for a sheep.)

“He leads me beside the STILL WATERS!”
(Sheep like us are easily frightened, noisy brooks and streams can scare them into running.)

” He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.” (Jesus has made us righteous in the sight of God.)

“Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (notice that it is not the valley of death, but the shadow of death) I WILL FEAR NO EVIL!” (I have made a decision to walk by faith no matter what.)

(Here is why I have decided to live by faith and not by fear) “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”.

” You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; (You always make a way for me. You have defeated my enemies for me.)

” You anoint my head with oil my cup runs over.” (You have adopted me as your child through the redemptive and atoning blood of Jesus. You have made me holy, blameless and unreprovable in Your sight.)

(Psalm 23)

What we say is what we get.

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