Citing his own fears as president and as a parent, President Barack Obama said Thursday that fear can consume us, and its consequences can be “worse than any outward threat,” but “a good cure for fear” is Jesus.
“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,” Obama said in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.
Obama quoted 2 Timothy as the scripture he’s been reflecting on and praying about lately.
“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 2 Timothy: ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,’ he said.
“Fear does funny things,” Obama said. “Fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different or lead us to try to get some sinister other under control. Alternatively, fear can lead us to succumb to despair or paralysis or cynicism.
“Fear can feed our most selfish impulses and erode the bonds of community. 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,” he said.
“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?” Obama asked.
“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. His love gives us the power to resist fear’s temptations,” he said.
“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 stand up to our friends,” the president added.
God “gives us the fortitude to sacrifice ourselves for larger cause or to make tough decisions, knowing that we can only do our best,” Obama said. “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.
“Certainly during the course of this enormous privilege to have served as the president of the United States, that’s what faith has done for me. It helps me deal with the common fears that we all fear,” he said.
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SOURCE: CNS News