The other night I was testing my daughter for her U.S. History test and it brought me back to when I was in eighth grade. History was always one of my favorite subjects in school, next to recess that is, hahaha! The time period around the 1930’s through the 1940’s was always interesting to me. There was so much conflict and change going on from the Great Depression to the “New Deal” Programs to World War II. One of the most influential figures of that time was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also know as FDR. As the 32nd President of the United States (from 1933-1945), he is best known for leading the U.S. through the Great Depression via his New Deal, and for playing a significant role in a grand coalition that defeated Nazi Germany, Italy and the Empire of Japan in World War II.Roosevelt was both loved and hated in his day, but regardless of what people may have thought of him, much was achieved during the 4 terms that he served as president. As I looked into this iconic president, I was surprised to find out these facts as well: FDR was the first President to make full use of the radio, the first to fly in a plane, the first to appoint a woman to his Cabinet, the first to appoint a Press Secretary, and the first to leave the country in a time of war upon his death in 1945. And was part of creating the United Nations. Through all the turmoil of his presidency, coupled with a debilitating disease that placed him in a wheelchair, do you think he ever had doubts? Without a doubt! Hahaha!
I have always loved this “work-incentive poster” from Artist J. Howard Miller that he did for the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company…”We Can Do It!” This poster has become one of the most famous icons of World War II and really captures the strength of the America Spirit.
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”
This truly is a capstone quote for a man who faced great adversity in both his presidency and his personal life. FDR had a strong and active faith which was demonstrated in numerous speeches, inaugural addresses, his “Fireside Radio Chats,” and even he wrote a personal prologue to a special edition of the New Testament, which was distributed to millions of U.S. soldiers. It is amazing when you have a “I Can Do It” attitude and the faith to combat the doubts in your mind…the extraordinary can be achieved! Someone once said:
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!”
This is so true! Today’s thought “Crippled by Doubt” is all about overcoming the battle in your mind, but how do you do that? The answer is found in the last part of FDR’s quote…a “strong and active faith.” That is the key. I saw this comic and it made me laugh so hard because it is so indicative of how our faith can be so weak. This reminds me of Matthew 14:27-33 (NLT) about what happened when Peter took his eyes of Jesus…
“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,”Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.”
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
How different would our life be if we did that? If we did “take captive every thought?” Not only pushing out the negative thoughts, but also holding onto the life affirming, positive thoughts that will build us up and not tear us down. I quote this all the time from John Wooden because it is so profound…
“There is a choice that you have to make, in everything you do. So keep in the mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”
The choice is yours…will you be crippled by doubt? Or will you take captive your thoughts and with a strong and active faith believe that you can do it!
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
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