Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In many ways, faith is the key to the Christian life. Everything we receive from God we receive by faith. He is the One helping, providing, encouraging, promising, and loving us. And we know that God values our faith in Him. Our faith is the basis of everything and it starts with our belief in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Then 1 Peter 1:7 adds that the “genuineness of your faith is more valuable than gold.” Clearly, faith is immensely important. Whatever hinders faith must be dealt with. Fear hinders faith, perhaps more than anything else.
Alexander Maclaren once said, “Faith, which is trust, and fear are opposite poles. If a man has the one, he can scarcely have the other in vigorous operation. He that has his trust set upon God does not need to dread anything except the weakening or the paralyzing of that trust.”
As human beings, we desire to be in control. The problem is, we’re clearly not. Bad things happen to us and to people we know. The world can seem out of control. While it’s certainly fallen, and bad things do happen, it’s not out of control. Our Father is in charge, despite all appearances to the contrary. He can be trusted, though that’s not a guarantee against all pain. God uses our suffering to make us more like Christ.
We exercise faith when we choose to take God at His Word and to believe in His promises. Today’s passage, found in Isaiah 41 assures us that we don’t need to be afraid, because the Lord is with us and He will strengthen us. We can trust that He won’t let us go. Trusting in God’s promises helps us to overcome fear.
So as we are thinking about this idea, ask yourself two questions:
- What fears do you tend to struggle with?
- Can you recall times when God helped you overcome your fears?
I would encourage each of you to trust in God. If you can find it within yourself to do that, God will replace your fears with a strong faith. A faith that will transform your life.