“Fear Thou not – for I am with thee for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
It is sad that so many in our society live in fear today. People worry about the uncertain future seeing global catastrophes on the evening news. I dare say that even in good Christian homes we find doubts and fears in times of testing. Sudden medical issues or financial troubles often burden and distort ones' peace of mind, causing fear to arise. But Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1).
Fear Thou not – for I am with thee… Notice it's a command - not a suggestion! God wants us to trust Him regardless of our circumstances or problems. Whatever your situation, we are to be, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2). As humans we often fear the unknown, we want to know the hows and whys… But we only need to know that God is sovereign, and He is in control.
Remember, you are not alone! He said, “For I am with thee”. Jesus said He is with us, even unto the end of the world. He is with us when we feel Him or don't feel Him. He is with us when we fail Him, as when we glorify Him. “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” Psalm 139 speaks of His omnipresence, “Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there...” It should be comforting to know that the Lord is always with us through every trouble, every trial, and every aspect of our walk of faith.
Be not dismayed; for I am thy God. Don't be distressed, discouraged or distraught, but rather end your fear! Remind yourself of just Who is with you. “I am thy God” - He makes it personal. His Majesty, King Jesus is your God! There are many gods on earth that millions worship. Jesus Christ is not just a god, He is God! The One who created the Heavens and the earth has given His word especially to you and I. An axiom of Christianity is, “we know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that He is able…” I know that certain situations in life can dismay us. People may disappoint us. Circumstances might perplex us. But God never fails; He is our faithful, personal Saviour!
Fear Thou not, I will strengthen thee… Jesus is our source of strength. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:28, 29). Reading Christian books and literature is good. Listening to Christian music is soothing to the soul. Certainly, hearing preaching is comforting… All of these are fine substitute sources of milk, but we must go directly to Jesus for real meat! To fellowship with Him, in His presence provides the sustenance we need. That's why the apostle Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”. Where are you looking for strength in fearful times? Are you leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus, the “Rock of Ages”?
Fear Thou not, I will help thee… This is the core, the nucleus of this verse. The Lord will help you! What are you facing today? Perhaps physical problems; God can either heal you or give you the grace to endure… Are you experiencing financial troubles, fearing the “Egyptian bill collectors”? God can provide a table in the wilderness and meet your needs. He wants and wills to provide and protect His children, His servants. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). The Lord tries our faith during this temporal life to get us to trust Him. If we believe and trust Him, He is always faithful. “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
Fear Thou not, I will uphold thee with… My righteousness… Again, we have His promise, what He will do! We are nothing. “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psalms 3:5). There are those who fear that they can never live the Christian life. They are worried of failing to keep the commandments… They are right! Yes, humans will fail! “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”( Romans 3:10). But Christ has promised you, “Fear Thou not, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness”. Tom Meador