Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
There are times when it is very hard to remember those words. There are times when even if we do remember them, we find ourselves struggling in a mire of doubt and despair. Does God really mean these words for me? Are they true in this time and place? Does He even hear me? Is He really even there?
Anyone who denies that they have ever been in this place, wrestling with fear, despair and even doubt is probably lying. We all come to this place at least once in our lifetime and probably visit it again and again more times than we care to admit (or can count).
We tell ourselves that if only we could just see the physical manifestation of God, hear the audible voice, see dramatic miracles it would be much easier to never struggle with these things, yet would it? Thousands of people witnessed the sick being healed, the casting out of demons and bread and fish multiplied. They would flock out into the country side and even into the desert to receive or see yet another miracle and yet where were they at the Cross? I fear that some perhaps may have even been in the crowd crying, "Crucify Him!" Would we have been any different then those who ceased to follow Him despite walking and talking with Him in the flesh?
It is in those moments when I find myself turning not only to the Word of God but looking back on my own journey. When I do, I clearly see that God has indeed been faithful. I can recall the times He has rescued me but I cannot recall any time He has failed me. This is not to say there has never been a struggle nor is it to say the outcome has not been what I expected or even wanted. It has only been as the story has unfolded that I have eventually seen God's way is always best, even if I don't understand or even like it.
So as I consider the words of Isaiah 41:10 this morning, like I have done so many times over the years, I am once again reminded that the truth of these words has indeed been proven to me time and time again. Whether I see God, feel God or hear God is not important. He said He is with me, will strengthen me, will help me and uphold me with His righteous hand; therefore I need not fear or be dismayed...and neither do you.
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Scripture quotation taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
To be both flesh and feel the despair and spiritual and feel the joy. Our Father must really scratch his head in bewilderment sometimes. Only by his mercy and grace do we live.