“Do not fear, for I am with you.”
I’m not sure there are any words that would be more comforting coming from the mouth of God. These few words give assurance of God’s presence in the most trying of times. When we are afraid, God is beside us. He’s shielding us from harm. He’s guiding us along the path. Whatever you’re going through right now, however dark it seems, do not fear! God is with you!
“Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”
I wonder if every time I get upset it’s because my eyes are on myself rather than on my God. I look at my circumstances and give more power to them than they have. I am dismayed because situations that come into my life don’t fit with the way I think things should be going. In doing this, am I not mocking the God who knows me and knows what’s best for me? Am I not making an idol of my plan for my life when I shove God’s desires off into a corner? “I’m on the throne. I’m my own god. Don’t tell me what you think is best!” I’m pretty sure saying such things and experiencing God’s discipline will lead to a whole lot of dismay. There is no peace for those who disregard God. None! God brings peace to those who make him Lord in their lives.
“I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
There’s a strange thing about believers: when a follower of Jesus is weakest, they are strongest. I know. It doesn’t make any sense. Sounds weird when you say it, but it’s true. When Paul was dealing with this “thorn in the flesh”, begging God to take it away, he had a bunch to say about this strange phenomenon. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, we find his words: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NIV) God’s power is made perfect in weakness. He shines through when we hold it together when we should be falling apart. He proves himself to be our strong deliverer, our shield, our defender, our refuge.
“…I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Do not fear! We heard those same words earlier. Now we hear him say he will hold our hand and help us. This verse is special to me. It’s the verse that God gave Susan when she was working through the wounds of her childhood. It’s the verse that gave her strength and hope. It’s the verse that taught her to trust God. The promise is for you too. You have no reason to fear. God is holding your hand and he will help.
P.S. I will begin serving as pastor of Pratt Friends Church in July 2011.
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