Posted January 01, 2014
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.
Hear the words of God to His people spoken through Isaiah. These are particularly encouraging words as we consider the new year, and all the resolutions that we’ve made. God charges His people to refrain from two things based on two truths, and proceeds to promise 3 incredibly powerful things!
First, the double charge:
All of us fear something. What do you fear? Control? Fear of losing your life? A loved one? Your nest egg? Your job? Your reputation? What do we fight these fears with? How do we overcome them? God tells us only one thing can: His presence. He tells this fearful people that He is with them. You might lose control, your life, your loved one, your savings account, your job, but God promises that He remains. If we have Him, we have nothing to fear! Where do you fix your eyes? On the issue you fear, or on God’s presence with you?
Be Not Dismayed
What do you tell the distressed, worried, or disappointed one? That if they search within themselves, they will find strength? To have a positive attitude? Not here. The only salve for the disillusioned soul isn’t more positive thinking, but rather the truth that God is your God. He isn’t simply a God “out there”, but is your God. Through faith in Christ and His work on the cross, God has covenanted Himself to you. This covenant is blood-bought and can never be broken!
Next, the triple promise:
I Will Strengthen You
Are you weak? God will strengthen you. While our strength and energy fluctuates, God’s strength is unlimited and everlasting throughout all of time. He is forever strong, forever able, and can fill us with the strength that we so need! Are you weak? Cry out to God for strength!
I Will Help You
If you feel like a self-sufficient person, this might feel like a lame promise, but what a powerful promise this is. The truth of the matter is every last one of us needs help, particularly God’s help! We are not self-reliant islands, but rather continually-dependent beings. God promises to be our help, our aid, our strength! Cry out for help the One who promises His assistance.
I Will Uphold You
At the end of the day, when you lay your head down on your pillow, what upholds you? What ensures that you’ll rise the next morning with breath in your lungs and the capacity to function? While God upholds all things in the universe, here God promises a special covenantal upholding to His people. Learn to rest in His hand.
Song by Ariella Wilson.
Production by Dustin Ragland.
Artwork by Chris Wright.