The Father holds my hand

The Father holds my hand

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:10-13


 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

 11 Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
 12 You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.

 13 For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

The early days of the American War for Independence were fairly bleak. In 1777, after a string of defeats, Philadelphia had fallen, the brutal winter at Valley Forge approached, and the situation appeared desperate. George Washington sent out communiqués to his commanders. He wrote, “We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.”

We live in fearful, tumultuous times, filled with forebodings of doom. It seems as though everything is coming apart. America has seen difficult times before. Some were historic days of tragedy December 07, 1941 and September 11, 2001. Longer periods of time are characterized by one traumatic event after another. Social, religious, and political norms imploded after decades of pressure reached a breaking point.

In 1968, it seemed as though America was on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown. Social unrest was rampant. Clashes erupted over cultural values, race, and the Vietnam War movement. Two men considered heroic figures by large portions of the population, were tragically tragically assassinated: Rev. Martin Luther King and Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

“In some ways, historians say, America nearly lost its mind and its soul. In other ways, historians argue, the nation reinvented itself and became a more-tolerant, less-constrained place, more willing to let people express their individuality and challenge authority. Overall, the upheavals of that year, both positive and negative, made it clear that once social change reaches a critical mass, it can’t be stopped” Kenneth T. Walsh).

“It was a hinge point in history, one of the most consequential and tumultuous years in the American experience, and it changed the country forever” (Kenneth T. Walsh).

America rose above the tumult and upheaval. But it was sullied by intense cynicism regarding government and traditional institutions. Dark days lay ahead, but there was hope that the future could be brighter and better.

But now 50 years later it seems as though America is on a collision course with an apocalyptic destiny. Many lament that there is no path forward, the Earth itself appears to be in fatal decline, and new technologies threaten traditional industries and occupations as never before (The Washington Post).

However, the Father does not change. He remains steadfast and unmovable. He holds each of us fast in His strong right hand as we walk through times of darkness and uncertainty. He is there for us and He will take us exactly where He wants us to go.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

REFLECT & PRAY

“Each of us will face fear at some point; it is what we do with it that matters most. We must claim our position as God’s children. We have the power to overcome fear when we apply His Word to our lives” (Stanley).

Father, thank You that You are ever present with me and I need not fear. Embrace me with the security and comfort that You alone can provide.

INSIGHT

Fear is defined as an emotional foreboding or dread of impending distress, misfortune, or terror. Fear includes anxiety and loss of courage in the face of an unpleasant or dangerous situation. It frequently results in dread and terror.

“We are fragile mortals, given to fears of every sort. We have a built-in insecurity that no amount of whistling in the dark can mollify. We seek assurance concerning the things that frighten us the most” (Table Talk). Often, our greatest fears are not due to external forces. They lurk and erupt like volcanoes from the inner recesses of our beleaguered souls and wounded hearts.

The Scriptures are replete with repeated words of encouragement to “fear not” and “not be afraid.”

Zephaniah 3:16 Do not be afraid, O Zion; do not let your hands fall limp.

Every child of the King can be assured that the Father is with them. He will strengthen them in the midst of their difficulties and trials. In the end, their enemies will come to nothing (Gary Smith).

Isaiah 41:10-13

 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

 13 For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

The Hebrew language does not employ underlining or bolding to indicate the most important words or thoughts in a sentence or paragraph. Rather, Hebrew syntax employs word placement or repetition. Hence, the most important word or phrases are often repeated or placed at the beginning or the end of a sentence.

In Isaiah 41:10-13, “do not fear,” is repeated and occurs at the beginning and the end of the section. Because the Father is actively involved and present in the midst of the difficult circumstances, they have no reason to fear. Hard times are certain, but a fearful response, although natural for people, children of the King can avoid it entirely.  “The exhortation not to fear is part of the bedrock of faith” (Friesen).

In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Fear will come calling, but the children of the King should refuse to entertain it at all. The Father is with us and upholds us with His strong right hand.  “Do not fear” can become the credo of every child of the King.

¯\_()_/¯

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