It seems as if we are in a crisis with no end in sight. My experience with crises is that it is easy to get knocked down by the next wave. There are often many waves that follow. I am afraid that we are starting to see another wave related to new rounds of job losses. The delayed reopening is now starting to impact those whose companies kept them on the payroll but are no longer able. There will also be a potential rise in infections as well. It is easy to give in to fear at this times like these. It is important to keep our eyes on our Jesus during the storm.
I am reminded of God’s encouragement to us in Isaiah 41:10, “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.” These words, written to the nation of Israel, are applicable to us today. It is a reminder that we can hold onto our Savior’s hand as we face the thunder and lighting of this storm. Let us remind ourselves of several vital truths from this verse.
First, the Lord reminds us that He is with us. It you have ever been alone in a scary situation you know that difference that having someone with you makes. Like a child that wraps their arms around their fathers leg we too can hold onto our heavenly father. It also reminds us that if He is with us then He is aware of our situation. We are reminded that we do not need to be controlled by fear.
Second, He is our God. This is a possessive statement. It is a reminder that we belong to him. Just as a parent has a special bond with the child so is our bond with the Creator of all that exists. We can take comfort that, as the Old Testament put it, God’s hand (arm in some translation) is never shortened! This tells us that God is capable of easily handling the situation. Today we might say God does not have “alligator arms!”
Third, the Lord reminds us of one truth that is quickly forgotten in a crisis that is emphasized in three ways -He reminds us to trust Him and not ourselves. He begins by reminding us that “I will strengthen you!” This reminds us of His presence. He expects me to face the challenge but I will not face it alone. He will help me to be the person that I need to be. The next phrase “I will help you!” reminds me that the Creator of heaven and earth is on my team (or I am on His team). His divine intervention will be present in the situations that I face. It is like the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” The only set of footprints in the sand are not ours walking alone, but His because He carries us. I will not face it with my limited resources and abilities but with the addition of His. The last statement, “I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” remind us of his capability. We can hold fast knowing that our God in not limited in His ability to help!
My encouragement to you is to memorize this verse, then press forward in your relationship with Jesus. Make time to read a portion of Scripture each day and when those fears arise take a moment to talk to your heavenly father about them. But be quick to listen to His response, “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.”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson