Do Not Fear – Part 3
“… I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10b NIV)
The prophet Isaiah was warning Israel of impending judgment because of their sin, but God also had a word of encouragement for his people as he looked forward to their restoration. He told them not to fear or get discouraged, because he was with them. And then, finally, this is the message that God had for Israel and that he has for every believer today: “Even if everyone turns their back on you, I will help you.” And when God is your helper, it’s going to work out. You may think, “But I’m not what I ought to be.” He knows that. He’s going to help you not because of who you are, but because of who he is.
The fact is that God delights in helping messed-up people. We may not understand it, but it’s true. God delights in showing mercy. He’s also a God of justice, but the just requirements of the law were met when Jesus died on the cross for your sins and mine; and if we have accepted him as our Savior, we now have his righteousness. The good news is that the Lord takes joy in helping people who are unworthy but who look to him. That’s why we can’t look within ourselves. If we do, we will definitely get discouraged. But when we look to Jesus, our faith is renewed, and we see his love and his mercy toward us.
Someone reading this may be battling fear and discouragement at this very moment. Right now, God is going to help you. Just say in your heart, “I’m not going to be afraid. I’m going to trust in God. He promised he would be with me, and he is not a man that he should lie.” Remember that he chose you even before you chose him! After choosing you, is he going to let you fall into a black hole? Impossible! That could never happen!
You may be at a time of transition, not knowing what the next step will be. Do you think that God is up there fretting and wondering what is going to happen? Of course not! He knows the end from the beginning, and the beginning from the end; and he’s going to help you! This may seem like a simple truth, but the devil will fight you tooth and nail to keep you from believing this. He’ll get you discouraged and afraid of the future. You may have never been this way before, but God says, “I am with you. I am your God. I chose you, and I delight in blessing you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, and I will help you.”
Let’s pray: Father, bless us and deliver us from all discouragement and fear, for your love is better than our mess-ups. We’re glad that you’re the God of Jacob, whose name meant “deceiver.” If you were just the God of some perfect person in the Bible, we would be afraid; but you’re the God of Jacob, and you say, “I have chosen you. And even though you’re messed-up and crooked, I’ll make you straight. And my mercy will cover your sin through the blood of Jesus.” So God, make your people strong today. Don’t let us look around or look inside for the answer. Instead, let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. May we be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Read Isaiah 41:10-13.