Last week my daughter attended church camp and came back wearing this shirt:
I love it!
Isaiah 41:10 is such an inspiring Bible verse, especially to those who are enduring the kind of struggles that breed fear.
That verse 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” (English Standard Version).
The New Century Version puts it like this…
“So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you.”
To a people who are facing great opposition, God promises that all opposition will be met by his might.
In the midst of difficulty, God says that he will strengthen, help, and uphold (support) his people. Thus, there is no reason to worry, to be dismayed, or to fear. And the foundation for this is that God is bigger than whatever worries us, concerns us, or makes us afraid.
In his commentary on Isaiah, Dr. J. Alec Motyer writes the following: “Just as the thought of status (expressed by servant) bracketed verses 8-9, so the thought of safety (do not fear; my right hand…your right hand; help) brackets 10-13. Within the bracket, the words describing opposed forces are in each case emphatic (who rage … oppose … enemies … war against, 11-12). Thus all opposition is held within the embrace of pledged divine presence and help, and consequently it will come to nothing (disgraced … perish … not find … nothing at all). The Lord’s presence (with you, 10) and commitment (your God) are the antidote to fear. Dismayed means to dart glances this way and that, being at a loss to know what to do for the best. The Lord, however, is no mere passive companion. His presence brings his active strength, expressed as a mounting tide of assistance: ‘Yes, I will strengthen you; Oh indeed, I will help you; I will uphold you.’ When God says, ‘My righteous right hand,’ the hand (40:12) is the organ of personal action, referring to the Lord’s personal action implementing his righteous promises and purposes.”
Isn’t that good news?
And isn’t that news confidence-building?
I recently wrote this passage in a journal of a woman in our congregation is currently going through chemotherapy treatments. I want her to know that God is actively present in her life, and that his presence comes with active strength – strength she can rely on when she doesn’t feel strong.
And I want you to know it too.
Whatever you’re going through, God is with you. And if you will trust fully in him, you will discover that God really is bigger than whatever opposition you face.
So do not worry.
Do not be dismayed.
Do not fear.