Fear Thou Not

Isaiah 41:10  “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am the God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

I understand that verses are often taken out of context to prove a point, and as a general feeling, I abhor that practice.  Yet, this verse provides me comfort at times, and not necessarily in the context of the original writing.  I am not an Old Testament Israelite, after all.  In the original context, of course, the Lord is reminding Israel that he will see them through their battles, and that their enemy will be gone.  Of course, to a Christian, all of these things are allegories.  Yes, they actually happened, and yes, there is historical application, but for my life, it’s spiritual.

You see, it isn’t that God is going to be with us whatever we do.  That would be ludicrous.  Yes, he is ever-present with us, but he does not approve all of our actions.  The last part of this verse tells me that He is holding me up with His own righteousness.  Besides the obvious implications regarding salvation and the impossibility of losing it, it tells me that what I’m doing better be righteous if the Lord is holding me up.

Think about it.  If God Himself is going to strengthen you, if He’s going to be with you, and if He is going to uphold you, don’t you think you ought to be doing something spiritual?  This verse tells me that when God tells you to do something, don’t worry, He’s there.  If He has called you to a mission field, He’ll be there.  Don’t be dismayed.  If He wants you to preach, or teach, He will strengthen you.  If He asks you to pastor a church, or give money to that struggling family, or take that missionary out to dinner, yea, He will help you.

And if you take a stand against immorality, or deceitfulness, or sin in your church or home, or society at large, the Lord will uphold you.

I’m not telling you to go out there and act like the Westboro Baptist hypocrites, because frankly, they’re a bunch of low-lifes that don’t know how to read the Bible.  No, I’m telling you to go out there and do what God tells you to do.  Whether it’s leaving a gospel tract for your server at the restaurant, or telling that young man or young woman at the gas station about Christ, listen to the prodding of the Holy Spirit.  Nervous?  Sure.  But God says not to fear.  He is God after all, and His help is never far away.

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