Robert Griffith | 10 May 2024
Robert Griffith
10 May 2024

 

Isaiah 41:10   “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.”

Fear is a formidable adversary that must be confronted. What do you dread the most?  Is it fail? The collapse of the economy? Are you about to lose your job? Illness or disease? Feeling lonely? Worried about the end?

According to the findings of a psychological study, phobias are the most prevalent kind of mental illness in our country. The study also identifies around 530 distinct anxieties.  People who follow Christ are not an exception.  Not even the renowned apostle Paul was immune to the effects of his own anxieties. He admitted his guilt to the congregation in Corinth. “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” (1 Corinthians 2:3)

He admitted his fears, but he didn’t let them prevent him from coming.  He didn’t allow his fears to control him. How do you do that?  You can feed your faith or feed your fears. Whichever one you feed is the one that will grow. Isaiah teaches us how to feed our faith and starve our fears in the above verse. Let’s dig into that promise a little deeper.

When you find yourself in the wilderness of fear how can you replace those fears with faith? Isaiah offers three insights in this passage that will enable us to thrive in the face of fear.

God is with you – so recognize that you are not alone!  “Do not fear, for I am with you”

God is for you – so be encouraged! “… do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”

To be discouraged is to take courage away.  To be encouraged is to put courage in, to add courage.  When we are afraid, we become discouraged and forget that the God who is with us is also for us.  He has established a relationship with us.  “I am your God.”  In writing to the Romans, Paul said, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

God is in you – so rely on His strength.

“I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Fear cripples us because we don’t think we have the strength.  When we shift our focus from ourselves to Christ who indwells us, we can rely on His strength.  “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Faith is never a passive thing. It is a deliberate and active action. Realising that we are not alone and having trust that the God Who is with us is also for us and lives inside us, are necessary steps in the process of nourishing our faith and quenching our worries. A lack of fear is not the same thing as courage. It is continuing forward in spite of those anxieties, trusting in God as our source of strength.

Meditate on Isaiah 41:10 this week and watch your faith grow!