His heart pounded, his lips quivered, decay crept into his bones, and his legs trembled (Habakkuk 3:16). He was confused, angry, terrified, and desperate for relief. He cried, “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1:2). Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet, experienced a season of trials...
The dictionary is filled with phobias that can range from the fear of being without mobile phone coverage (nomophobia) to the fear of trees (hylophobia). I can fear what comes next in my life or my children’s lives, and I can fear for the future of this world, which leads me to panic and worry.
And yet, in Isaiah 41:10 God tells us to not to fear. He says,
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In this verse, God gives us three reasons to not be afraid.
Remember That God Is With You
The first reason God gives us is this: God tells us, “I am with you.” When we are tempted to fear, we need to remember that God is with us. God promises us that he will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). His Word also says that he will go with us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
We do not face our fears alone. God created us and he knows each specific fear we have. He created our inmost being and knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), which includes every tiny cell and every stitch of our personality. God says to his prophet in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
Because God created us, he not only knows our fears, but also the situations which may cause us fear. And yet, we know he never leaves us to face those fears alone if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ. We can take comfort in the fact that God is with us always. And “if God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)?
Meditate On Who God Is
Once we know who is with us, then we need to daily remind ourselves who he is: God! The King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Creator of all heaven and earth walks with us. “For I am your God,” he says in v.10.
He is not one of the small “g” gods that the Israelites used to worship. He is not the little idols that we worship today — money, perfection, fame, or fortune. But he is the great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He is the one who parted the waters for Moses, who can part the seas of doubt and fear for us.
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We need to spend time meditating on God’s Word to understand who he is. When we do that, we will also understand who we are; we will see the depths of our sin against him and our need for Jesus, the Savior, to reconcile us to God. We will have a deeper understanding of who God is — our Lord and Savior. Only then will we know the reason we have to not be afraid. Only by consistently abiding in his Word will we understand God’s great power. This brings us to the last reason to not be afraid.
Trust God’s Promise to Strengthen You
This Scripture clearly gives us a promise from God to strengthen us. For he says, “I will uphold [strengthen, NIV] you with my righteous right hand.”
Knowing God will uphold me alleviates my fear of the unknown and my fear of evil.
He will strengthen us in every situation and always for his glory. Whether it is the peace we find in his promises, or the confidence that our identity and worth comes from him and not in what we do, the Lord will give us the strength he promises. God is not reactive, but proactive in our lives. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is at work in us by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:11).
And we do not need to fear tomorrow. God wants us to be filled with hope and trust, not fear. He has given us hope through the promise that he can uphold us by his strength today. And he has also promised those who have faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation a life of eternity with him.
It is God who is with us, and he will strengthen us with his righteousness right hand. In his perfect way, he knows exactly what we need for every situation. In every situation, his righteousness will work for our holiness. He will be our strength.
What areas in your life cause you to fear? What fears do you need to confess to God knowing he can strengthen you by his power?