By Tim Von Dohlen

Overcome Fear, Live with Hope, Love, and Faith in God

February 4, 2021

I have not written my monthly Catholic Business Journal article since December 2020. It has taken some time for me to understand my difficulty to complete this article. For me, it was not because of Covid-19, which has had a paralyzing effect on many.  In my case, I was anticipating the outcome of the Presidential election—not because of either man—but because of the profound difference to expect in outcomes between the platforms of the Republican and Democrat parties. I also was considering the consequences of possibly having the anti-life, pro-abortion Democrat control of the House, Senate, and the Presidency, all of which created a fearful feeling.

Next, it was disturbing, to put it mildly, to have legitimate election challenges dismissed on procedural grounds. It is the principle of the matter that is so critical. If we do not have ballot integrity and a trustworthy election process, no country can survive.

Concurrently listening to the plans of the new administration to immediately sign Executive Orders overturning protections for the unborn, allowing Americans tax dollars to pay for abortions in foreign countries and other actions that have the effect of benefiting Russia and China has had a chilling effect on me.

I’m sure I am not alone.

Now these uncertainties have become reality as the new administration continues to set records for the number of Executive Orders being signed.  The dangers of the content of these orders are a threat—a clear and present danger—to the individual freedom of every American.

Whether one supports or opposes this administration’s actions, all will agree that the impact of these new Executive Orders are significant!

Having gotten that off my chest, it is time to start again.

It’s Time to Start Anew: Time to cast out FEAR!

Happy New Year (a little late) but let’s get started.

I want to share with you an analysis of FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real.  I continue to be thankful for the insights from Bob Gass and the Word For Today regarding fear, as shared below:

“Fear is genetic; it’s part of human nature. Studies confirm that our seven greatest areas of fear are these: (1) finances, (2) health, (3) career concerns, (4) parenting struggles, (5) family relationships, (6) accomplishing personal goals, and (7) death. Are you fearful and anxious in any of those areas? Fear can be a destructive force in your life.

“One of the old English words for fear means ‘sudden attack.’ That is what fear does; it attacks us and takes us captive. So, what’s the answer? Faith in God! Fear weakens, but faith strengthens. Fear imprisons, but faith liberates. Fear paralyzes, but faith empowers. Fear disheartens, but faith encourages. Fear sickens, but faith heals.

“Seldom do the things we fear come to pass. In our minds we conceive coming disasters that will likely never happen. The truth is – our thoughts were the only things creating potential danger for us.


How to break away from fear

“So how should you deal with your fears? ‘So, trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock.’ (Isa 26:3-4)

“Fear breeds lack of action. Lack of action breeds lack of experience. Lack of experience breeds ignorance. And ignorance breeds fear. It makes you afraid to do the very thing that would be beneficial to you.

“Taking action means you’ll have to move into the unknown and do the untried—and that can be scary. But if you give in to your fears, you won’t move forward. Fear is the darkroom where all our negatives are developed. It’s interest paid in advance on a debt you may never owe. And it undermines faith in yourself, in others, and in God.

“When God is the source of strength, you can face your worst fears and overcome them.


Taking Action is key

“The only way to escape from the prison of fear is action.

“You cannot wish your way out; you cannot wait your way out. You can only work your way out. Every time you escape the prison of fear, you grow stronger. Fear has no benefits and no upside.

“When you succumb to fear, you’re already beaten. People ruled by fear stay where it’s safe. And that’s sad, because you can’t reach your potential by staying where it’s safe.

“Believe that God is on your side today, then step out and attempt the thing you’re afraid to do!”


Leave fear and uncertainties behind. Place total faith and trust in God.

We can choose to not be adversely influenced by fear. It starts in our thoughts which we control and can be positive if we place our trust and faith in God through developing a prayer life built around reading the Bible, attending Mass regularly (and not just on Sunday), and developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through frequent daily prayer.


What are you really living for?

It is so important for us to think about what life is really all about. What are we really living for? There are certain things that we must realize.

We can get our head down and work, work, work, to make more money, but no matter how much money we have it will not bring more time. Our time needs to be devoted to the things in life that make a difference. Time devoted not for ourselves, but for others – the people we love and those we can help. That will let one lead a life of significance and a legacy to enrich the lives of those who follow.


Don’t follow the crowd: Be informed in the truth

Several years ago, we were told how much more information would be at our fingertips. Today we are inundated with more information than we can reasonably read.

Just because something is printed, in an email, or in a text does not make it correct or truthful. I continue to be amazed at the extent of opinion often projected as though it were news and fact.

One of the most important things we can do for family or friends is to be sure of the truth of what we share. We must stop relying on untrustworthy sources delivering information that darkens our lives. We must take responsibility to be informed and stay that way.


Love shown to others can make the difference

In this tumultuous time in which we live we cannot just rely on ourselves, but we need the guidance and love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The following Prayer for Guidance can show us the way!


A Prayer for Guidance

Lord, I thank you for calling me to this journey. I thank you for letting me feel your presence in my life. I know you’re guiding me.

But Lord, there’s so much I want to know!…

What plans do you have in store for me? How can I really help you build your kingdom? How can I make a difference? What makes me so special that you should call me to be your disciple?

Lord, I want to do your will. I want to make my life a gift to you. But I’m not sure where to start.

Please fill me with your Spirit, that I may have your wisdom to discern what talents, what gifts you have given me to share…

Give me your courage, so that I will not be afraid to use them…

Give me your energy that I will not tire of doing the work you put before me…

Give me your joy and your love that others will recognize you in me…

But most of all, give me your patience and your faith to know that you will show me the way if I but listen to your call and follow day by day.

View Articles If you’ve met Tim, you know that his life was shaped by good values that were imparted to him by his parents and he... MORE »

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