by K.A. Wypych
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).
The pastor mentioned this verse in church a few weeks ago, and the words resonated when he said them as they did when I first heard them.
“Do not fear.”
God frequently admonishes His children not to fear throughout His Word, but how often do the words take hold? Do we push away fear in social situations? When we’re waiting for a call about something? During the newscast?
The Bible never says, “Fear just a little bit, some worry is okay.” Or “Some of you shouldn’t fear.”
Nope. Do not fear. I love how the Bible deals in absolutes which seem impossible in real life. Do not fear. All of you. At all times.
Do not fear.
Easier said than done, or is it?
Why should we be without fear? Because we’re capable? Have good jobs? Are married? Live in America?
We should not fear because He is our God. I feel as Christians we often gloss over the meaning of Bible verses in favor of simply seeing the words. So, let’s focus.
He is our God. He spoke the universe into existence. He created light. Not turned on the light, but created it out of nothing. He created the essence of light and the idea of it.
He has all abundance; everything is at His disposal. He is all-knowing; God knows the inner most parts of every human ever created. All of them.
He’s a big God.
And what does He do? Protect us? Keep us safe? Yes, He does. But here, His promise goes even beyond that. He promises to strengthen us: to give us strength. The Being who created life itself promises to provide strength to us, a supernatural, nature-defying strength.
And, He says He will uphold us. Have you ever thought about what this really means? Sometimes the words create a vision of being lifted up high. But other times, the verse generates a picture of being picked up after collapsing, an image of a hand holding up a beaten-down body because they can’t lift themselves.
Church, in these times maybe more than any other, the enemy uses fear to be divisive, to isolate, and to crack the security we feel in life. The world pummels us with stories of disease and political rhetoric and killings and disaster.
Disaster is all around us.
God is a God who makes promises to His people. He deliberately holds out his hand as an anchor to us through His Word. He knows the disaster is there, and He says, “Do not fear. I am here. I’m the God of the universe, the One true God. I created this world out of love, and that love still rules. I still rule. Do not fear. Do not be overwhelmed by what is swirling around you. I see it, I know all about it, and I’m telling you, ‘Do not fear.’ When the darkness seems to swallow you, I am here. When you are overcome with anxiety, I will give you strength. I am standing right beside you in every moment, even right now. Do not fear. When you cannot hold yourself up, I will be here. I will lift your soul out of the muck and provide you with the best tools to prevail. Do not fear. I love you. I gave my son for you. I have not left you in this dire time; I’m still right here. Turn to me. Let me help you. Do not fear.”
God doesn’t change with the times. His promises stand forever. Whatever is on your heart today, whatever causes your breath to catch in your throat, do not fear. God stands above all and with you. Let Him in. Do not fear.
Dear Lord, I come to you now and ask you to help me be brave enough to surrender my fears to You. Sometimes I feel life is overwhelming, and I cannot get out from under the thumb of anxiety and depression. In these moments, in all moments help me to stand firm, to remember, and to recite the promises You have made to me. Help me to remember that the game is already won, and love is victorious for all time. Stand close to me, dear Lord, and give me strength to carry on in my darkest times. Lift me up, Lord, out of the fear and worry and insecurity and help me to trust that You are near and will not forsake me. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.