Resting Devotion 7: Fear

This is the seventh in a 14-week devotion series on the theme of resting, originally written for the Bible Society Australia. Join us as we visit texts that remind us of God’s character.  As we rest in the truths of who he is, what he has done, what he promises to continue to provide, and the certainty of our hope, we will find rest and strength for our souls.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13

Do you know how often the Bible encourages us not to fear?  You could read one encouragement such as this every day for a year – that is at least 365 times!  Have you ever wondered why the authors of the bible return to this theme so often?

You might say ‘I’m not fearful’, but here are some other expressions that capture fear: terror, scared, frightened, worried, anxious, panic, alarm, apprehension, dread.

I’m prone to being a worrier. An item on a news bulletin can set me off.  Or a phone conversation with a family member or friend when they share a concern. I would probably get a degree for worrying if they were offered.

There are, of course, times when our fears and concerns are reasonable and appropriate and move us to take action to protect ourselves and others. It would be foolish to respond otherwise. Such legitimate concern has been in play during the pandemic, while also providing opportunities for many of us to finely develop good habits of worry and fear and uncertainty.

I read this verse and am encouraged to rest in its truth.  We have a God, a deeply personal God who takes hold of our hand, just like a parent holds the tiny hand of their child as they walk to hold them steady.  And this God, our God, our Father, says ‘Do not fear, I will help you’.  The ESV translation uses even stronger language: ‘I am the one who helps you.’

Today, let me encourage you to think about His strong, warm, and gentle hand holding your hand as you walk through this day.  In the midst of your fears, you are not alone – He is with you; He is close enough to hold your hand.

Our Father God, thank you that you love me enough to take hold of my hand to help me. I know this firsthand because you rescued me from darkness and brought me into light through the death of your precious Son Jesus. Help me to remember today that your hand won’t let me go – your hands are strong and gentle. Amen.

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