“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
One of my close childhood friends was the adventurous type. As he got older, the Lord blessed him with a family and they moved to Colorado where he was the director of a wilderness camp ministry. When we were young, he always loved the outdoors so he took to this position like a fish takes to water and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of his regular activities was leading groups on mountain and rock climbing adventures. On climbs, he would, of course, use and rely on his harness and rope. His rope was a significant and essential lifeline. If he fell, it was the only thing he had to hold on to. If he fell, it was there to save him from serious injury or death. Now, I was not the adventurous type. I lacked climbing skill. I lacked the strength and bravery to do it as well. Even the thought of rock climbing like he did was a fearful thought to me.
Israel often found themselves fearful and unsteady from the threats of their enemies, yet God in His compassion gave them a true lifeline of care, support, and comfort. He pointed them to Himself. We see this in Isaiah 41. He calmed their fears with the assurance of His covenant promise and love. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.” He encouraged them with His presence as their God, His strength in the midst of their weakness and distress. God assured them of His help in the midst of their despair. “I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
God was all-sufficient for them in the worst of times. So He is with us, in Christ, today. We need daily reminders of that, don’t we? Sometimes it feels like you are hanging by a thread, watching your rope unravel. Yet, God is all-sufficient for you. Remember this today, tomorrow and the day after. Your true lifeline is Christ. Samuel Rutherford said it well, “I hang by a thread, but it is of Christ’s spinning.” We may providentially be hanging by threads in various times, in various ways. Good questions to ask are: Why are we there? What is God teaching us and growing in us while we’re there? The Gospel calls men and women from fear to faith. Though hanging by threads is uncomfortable and challenging, threads that are Christ spun should give us comfort in the midst of trial. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) He goes before us and is with us. (Joshua 1:9) He will never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:8) He is with us, and importantly, we are securely anchored to Him, being in Him. Further, the hope He has given us is an anchor for our souls. (Hebrews 6:19) Even and especially in those moments, know and consider His tender care for you.
1) Are you fearful? Trust your Savior. He will silence your fears. We shouldn’t be frightened, shocked, or dismayed by the power and threats of those who are against Christ and His church. They will come again and again. They will press hard and harder against us. Yet, He is our God. He sits on the throne and laughs. Maybe you have other fears. Yet, Jesus gives you His peace and calls you to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. He calls you to press on in faith for His cause and glory. Press on for His kingdom purposes.
2) Are you weak? He will strengthen you. He will help you in your times of need.
3) Do you feel like you will slip and fall? He will uphold you by His powerful and righteous right hand. God sustains you. He powerfully protects and preserves you, so that you will stand in His grace, walk in His ways, and not fall finally and totally, but persevere to the end, though your trials and temptations be many and great.
I encourage you to read and meditate on Isaiah 41:10 again and again this week. May God give you grace to dash the doubt, the fear and despair, that you would be filled with comfort and joy, being fully assured that He has you in His hand and will never let you go.