'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'Isaiah 41:10(NASB)
It has been said that the comforting words 'Fear Not' appear in the bible 366 times, one for each day of the year plus one for leap year. But no matter how many times these cheering words of encouragement appear, let us always remember that they are spoken by the Creator of the Universe to His people. He is the One Who tells His children not to fear because He can still the raging storm and heal the brokenhearted.
He is the One Who tells us not to be anxious and commands us not to fret about evildoers. He invites us to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us and promises to be with us forever - even to the very end of the age. The Lord Jesus is the One Who charges us not to be discouraged or dismayed because He is our God and that truth should be sufficient.
"Do not fear," He beseeches us, "for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you," are His words of encouragement, "for I am your God. Fear not..." When the God of the universe, Who sent His Son to be our Kinsman-Redeemer and pay the price for our sins on the Cross tells us not to worry... should we not simply take Him at His Word and not fear?
Faith in His precious promises is what God desires of us all, and we are warned that unless we trust His Word we can't please Him. But the Lord is gracious to us for He knows that we are but dust. The Lord is long-suffering and of great goodness and He knows that doubts and discouragement can be triggered by so many things that mar our lives, and so He often expands His words of comfort with a beautiful postscript, underlining and emphasising His great goodness and loving-kindness: "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
There are three such extensions in this beautiful verse that was first given to the people of Israel.
Firstly, we are not to fear for the Lord has promised to strengthen all that are His, and Jesus amplifies this truth to the apostle Paul when He tells him: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Secondly, the Lord continues that, as well as having His strength for all we need, He will be an ever-present help in trouble: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Indeed, the Lord Jesus Himself promised, "Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Furthermore, He even sent His indwelling Holy Spirit to be our present Helper and our resident Comforter at all times and in all places: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever."
Thirdly, His reassurance stretches out His arms of love still wider, with the pledge to uphold us with His righteous right hand and to prevent our steps from slipping by enfolding us up in His arms of righteousness: "I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"
These words of encouragement and comfort were spoken to Israel through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah: "Fear not," was the command they were given, which was accompanied with the most glorious promise: "Fear not - for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God and I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." And this same instruction and wonderful assurance is given to the Church, which is the Body of Christ.
YES – Christ is our righteousness, Christ is our ever-present help in time of trouble, and it is Christ Whose grace is always sufficient for all our needs for Christ is our covering. How, then, can we fear if God is for us? Who is there to fear? Whether the comforting words 'Fear Not' appear in the Bible 366 times or simply once, we should hearken to His Word and trust His promises for His Word is trustworthy and true.
Loving Father, I know that there are many times that fear has replaced faith in my heart, yet why should I fear when You have told me so many times to fear not? Thank You for Your promise to be with me always, to strengthen me, to be with me and to uphold me with Your righteous right hand, for which I thank You and bless Your holy name. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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