FOCUS: 2020 - Will We Be a Nation of Fear or a Nation of Faith?

Sometimes I go back and reflect on some of the articles I have written and see if many changes have taken place since I wrote the article.  I wrote this article in 2012, and I believe we need to reflect on this topic again with a major election coming up in less than a month.  With the major events taking place since the onset of the coronavirus, I believe we are still a nation in fear.  Not only have we been dealing with the virus, we have states that are being destroyed because of those who hate this land we call America.  Americans are living in fear and do not seem to know how to deal with all that has been put before us.

On Sunday mornings, I watch James Merritt as he preaches about the love of God and how we can make a difference by praying.  He has been preaching about fear and faith.  He tells us that we can either live in fear with what is going on in our lives and the world around us, or, we can live in faith that our God, the Creator, is well aware of our circumstances and will not fail us.  How many of us need to change our thinking?  Who is really in control?  We are to wait, watch and worship as we change our thinking.  We are to realize that God is in control.

This universe was designed by someone, a higher power, greater than we can even imagine.  In today’s world, our children are taught that they must see and know how everything works.  The word Faith is difficult for many to understand and to believe in.  Let us go to the dictionary once again to see the difference in the words fear and faith.  Fear is an agitated feeling aroused, or, a threatening danger, trouble, dread or terror.  Fear is an uneasy feeling that something may happen contrary to one’s desires.  Fear is a feeling of deep reverential awe and dread.  Fear is a continuing state or attitude of fright.  Fear is the possibility that something dreaded or unwanted may occur.  To be fearful is to be filled with dread or terror that may go to extremes.  Faith is confidence in, or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy.  Faith is belief without need of certain proof.  Faith is belief in God or in the Scriptures or other religious writings.  Faith is a system of religious belief or anything given adherence or credence too.  If one is faithful, he or she has true or trustworthy performance of duty and the fulfillment of promises or obligations.

Since March, many have been sequestered by the pandemic.  Since the pandemic and the shootings, protests, violence and destruction of towns, our lives have been challenged.  Fear has been at the forefront of our daily news.  When was the last time you watched the news and heard something encouraging? The news is nonstop with the horrible events that are happening in America and all over the world. We are told that our nation is going in a downward spiral with no return.  There is corruption, violence, doubt and fear on any subject you talk about.  I agree that times are tough.  I agree that change needs to take place.  Yes, there is fear when we think of the possibilities throughout our world.  Could it be that we are being tested to see if we have any faith left to cancel out fear?  If God is in control of the universe earth, all that is alive, and all that is before and after, why do we live with fear?  Should this be a time of faith and a time for us to look around and see what is wrong?  Should we have faith that we can make things right if we go back to our belief in a creator who made everything in His time?  God is in control.  Maybe He is waiting for us to make changes in our lives.  Maybe He is waiting to see if we will pray to Him for guidance.  When life and times are unbearable, we need to pray!  When everything is lost and you do not see a way out, you need to pray. When times are good, thank God!  We are to pray and to continue raising God.  Our lives, our nation, the world and all that is can be changed if we have the faith to turn to God for His mercy.  Will the bad times we face make us bitter or will it give us faith and bring us closer to God?  Will we choose the path of fear or the path of faith?  God is Faithful.  With God, all things are possible.  Without God, our country is in trouble.  This was true in 2012.  How long will it take for America to decide if we will remain One Nation Under God?  With the increase of violence, greed, hatred, murders and moving away from a Constitution designed by the people for the people, our nation will not continue to be One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for all. 

In 20 days, we have an election that will decide what form our nation will take.  Will our nation be run by an all power government or will we the people still have a voice?  Will God be welcome in our nation? Our lives have been changed and I pray that these changes help us to have less fear and more faith. Many of us will have new challenges and I pray that these challenges will be met by our faith in a God who can make all things possible through faith. 

I am reminded of a song I used to sing.  (I asked the Lord to walk with me when things weren’t going my way.  He said to me “And I will walk with you.  You only have to pray” … And He will walk with you.  He’s only a prayer away.) Another good example of God’s faithfulness is the writing and picture called “Footsteps.”  If you have read the poem and seen the picture, you know that there are footsteps in the sand.  There are two sets of footsteps for a distance and then there is only one set of footsteps. The person walking asks God why He did not continue walking beside him.  God’s answer was profound. ‘I will always walk with you but when you could no longer walk on your own, I carried you.’  How true!

The election on November 3rd is coming very soon and I encourage you to get out and vote.  If you do not feel comfortable going to the polls, ask for an absentee ballet to be mailed to you.  You still have a few days to do so.  It is easy and you can mail the ballot back to the courthouse or you can hand deliver it to a person at the front door of the Courthouse.  America is calling out to see how our nation will be identified in the future.  Your vote is important. To get an absentee ballot, call the Upshur County Clerk’s Office.

I leave you with these thoughts.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln began a Day of Prayer for America in 1863?  Times were tough then, but I believe that prayer made a difference then and I believe prayer can make a difference today.

“No hill is too high.  No mountain too tall.  For with faith in the Lord you can conquer them all.” – Helen Steiner Rice


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