Archive for the 'Encouragement' Category

Fear Not!

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 43:1-7 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tommy Chittenden):

The command, “fear not” appears 65 times in scriptures and another 200 times in different variations, i.e. “do not fear.” Of everything commanded by God, the prophets, the apostles, angels, and others, “fear not” might be the command that shows up more often than any other.

This communicates at least two very important things. First, fear just might be the most common human condition. And second, it is the reaction to life that is least warranted for a follower of Christ.

So what is it you fear? Perhaps a financial setback leading you to feel less secure? Perhaps you are anxious about how your children are going to “turn out” and survive in this scary world? Could it be a disease that has compromised your body or that of a loved one? Or maybe your fear is just some indefinite aching anxiety about your own future.

Whatever it is, the amazing words in today’s scripture provide the resolution for any fear or anxiety. The question is — how much do we really want to have resolution, that peace of mind available to each of us?

Israel’s long history of oppression, captivity, and discrimination would seem to warrant a natural inclination to be anxious, to be fearful. Even with all of the wonderful, amazing miracles and moments of Israel’s deliverance by Yahweh, the prophet now delivers one of the most beautiful and hopeful messages recorded. Yet, it is not a message just for the nation of Israel, but as children of God it resonates in our own hearts too.

I who created you, who formed you, has redeemed you.

I have summoned you by name, you are mine!

You are my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, do not be afraid, for I am the Lord your God, your savior, who is always with you.

Now pay very close attention to verse four:

You are precious and honored in my sight. . . and I love you!

How is it possible that when we recognize just how valued and loved we are, and see the hand of God in our life’s journey, we continue to struggle with fear?

The dangers, afflictions, and challenges we face will not destroy us. Instead we will “pass through those waters and walk through that fire unharmed.” This is what God has said, and God cannot lie.

Thought for the day: Because God has redeemed us, because we are God’s — fear not!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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