What fear grips you? Harry Houdini was afraid. The legendary escape artist who built a career on his ability to get out of a tight squeeze was claustrophobic! Napoleon Bonaparte was afraid of cats. Muhammad Ali is afraid. The former boxing champion could knock out opponents, but had to go toe-to-toe with his fear of flying.
Everyone has fears. Perhaps that is why the dictionary lists over 700 types of fears. This may also be why columnist Ann Landers once reported that the majority of the 10,000 letters she received each week had to do with fear.
Are you afraid? You are normal! Search the pages of Scripture and you will are not alone. The Fear Club includes such Biblical greats as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and the disciples. Even Jesus was troubled (John 12:27). Fear is a part of life, but God does not want us to live in fear and there is a big difference between the two.
How do we break free of the fears that envelope us? The book of Isaiah provides the answer. The nation of Israel was in a precarious place. Opposing armies threatened to invade and God himself had foretold their demise. But God also guaranteed that he would not leave them desolate. He would help them and restore them. God’s words to them provide hope for all of us who are afraid from time to time.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and ashamed . . . You will look for them in vain. They will all be gone! I am holding you by your right hand—I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, “Do not be afraid. I am here to help you. (Isaiah 41:10-13 NLT)
Isaiah’s words for Israel are God’s words for us—“Do not be afraid for I am with you.” God is present with us in the interview and in the financial crisis. He doesn’t desert us when we are lying on our sickbed, standing to give a big presentation, or staring at a dying dream. Think about it: If the God who is in control of the universe is “with us” do we really have any reason to fear? And he continues, “I will help you.” God, the One with limitless power to provide, restore, comfort, cheer, enable, support, and give is standing by to offer us assistance. Do we really have any reason to fear? When Isaiah’s God is our God, the answer is “No!”
Fear is a normal part of life; however, living in fear does not have to be. Fears take flight when we remember that God is with us and that he promises to help us.
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis