No End of Optimism

During my recent trip to the USA, fear of the uncertainty for the future among many Americans was apparent. As the stock market continues to fall and unemployment increases daily, the blame is being put squarely at the feet of the government.

Igor Panarin, Professor of the Diplomatic School of Russia, is predicting the economic collapse of the US in this coming year. Whether or not his prediction really comes to pass, the fact remains that the fear of another great depression is rampant throughout the country. The feeling across Europe is similar. Many who have built their lives around economic security are now fearful that they are standing on shaky ground. These kinds of feelings bring around a rise in suicides and other acts of desperation.

This mass fear phenomenon is nothing new. Prior to the collapse of the Roman Empire people suffered greatly from the uncertainty of the future. So too at the times of the great plagues in the Middle Ages. Again during the Great Wars people found themselves small in such a big situation. For many it comes as a great shock to realize that one cannot control things happening around us.

Amidst this type of depressive mood, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of Greece “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, Rejoice! Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

Paul wrote these words as the subjects of the Roman Empire trembled in fear under the rule of Nero and the persecution against Christians was extreme.

Our faith comes not from the here and now but rather is based on our faith in Jesus Christ. Our peace and confidence for the future can be given by God alone. Thus we can put our faith into action to effect a positive change on the world. KDJ

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