“I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” – Isaiah 41:13
God speaks to us with tenderness; ‘fear not, I will help you.’ Not only is God within call, but He is constantly present with us. If we are weak, we can lean on His strength. If we are lonely or in need, we can trust Him to provide for us in ways and times that are best for us, even if we do not realize it in the moment. Like a good Father, He knows what’s best for us, and He surely knows us better than we know ourselves.
Many times, throughout my life I recall moments of fear and uncertainty. In these instances, I thought I knew what was best for myself. I thought if a certain problem was solved the way I wanted it or I got what I had hoped for, all would be well. God often reminds us that our ways are not His, (Isaiah 55:8-10) and His are far better than ours. Rather than live in fear and uncertainty, God teaches me repeatedly to trust Him (Isaiah 26:4). The spirit of fear lies to us, telling us that we can’t trust or believe God. Throughout the scriptures we hear the phrase reiterated, “do not fear” or “fear not.” Fear leads down a spiraling path of bondage that brings on doubt, confusion, and a desperate grapple for self-preservation rather than leaning on and trusting God amid all circumstances. He promises us that if we lean on Him and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). He tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That means even the bad things can be turned around to work for our good. The greatest example of this is of course the cross of Christ: a horrific tragedy that was turned on its head, bringing about freedom and salvation and access to God (Hebrews 12:2).
When fear creeps into our lives, where will we turn? Will we bow down and cower to its demands, or will we turn away from it and towards Jesus in whom no fear dwells? Let us remember to put fear in its place, and keep our eyes set on the Lord, who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Dear Jesus, we know that in You is the perfect love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Help us to never submit, bow down, or live under the lies and oppression of fear, but rather turn to You who promises to uphold us and give us the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Amen.
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