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.
(Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Pastor John helpfully unpacked this verse in his 1993 sermon, Fear Not, I Am with You, I Am Your God. I would add one thing to his list below of things that can raise up fear in us: parenting a child with a disability with all the associated cultural baggage, uncertainty about the future, and unusual relational, physical, and emotional expense. Yes, we are called to be free from even that fear:
When God calls you to be free from fear as you do evangelism, as you take a test, as you face an interview, as you take a stand against an unjust business practice, as you confront someone with sin in their life, when you leave a secure position and take a risk in a new venture, when you face an operation or a treatment, when you lose a spouse or a friend—when God calls you to be free from fear (to overcome this natural emotion and have peace), he does not leave the command hanging in the air. He puts pillars under it. Five of them. That’s the nature of all biblical commands. They come with divine support.
- Fear not . . . God is with you;
- Fear not . . . God is your God;
- Fear not . . . God will strengthen you;
- Fear not . . . God will help you;
- Fear not . . . God will uphold you.
I do not live a fear-free life; it is a battle. God is greater. God’s word is an effective weapon in that battle. His promises are more firm than my (or your) perceptions.