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[The Lord says,] “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Thoughts on today’s verse
Fear saps our will power and leaves us feeling depleted and hopeless. Yet very few of us have ever experienced a defeat so complete and bitter as the one God’s people faced when Isaiah shared this message of hope. The preservation of Israel to the time of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the triumph of the Church through centuries of persecution and opposition are powerful reminders that underneath us are the everlasting arms of a mighty and loving God.
Almighty and Eternal Father, it is such sweet comfort to know that you are always there. Thank you! In Jesus name. Amen.
In our world we’re bombarded with advertisements that promise us contentment if we’ll get more stuff–bigger, better, faster.
But reality is: the more comfortable we are, the more we have lost the capacity to be content. Things do not live up to our expectation to make us happy. We become disgruntled when we get less than we feel we deserve. If we do things right, happiness will follow we think. But life is made up of joys and sorrows.
In the midst of all kinds of trials (which he did not deserve!) Paul says “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12, 13).
The Amplified Bible says, “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me.”
Paul did not expect an easy life. He rejoiced that the gospel was being preached. Keeping his focus on His Sovereign Lord and what he was here for, he could be content in every situation.
Contentment is something Paul had to learn and we also have to learn. “I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.” he writes. How? The key to being content in any and every situation is in looking to Jesus not our circumstances. Corrie ten Boom says it so well:
Look around and be distressed Look within and be depressed Look to Jesus and be at rest.
Lord Jesus, thank you for providing for me the resources I need to be content in every situation.
“Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].” Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)
Isaiah 41:10 is my favorite verse because I have experienced it. I have been afraid more times than I would like to admit. The Lord has reassured me that he is with me — in every sense of that word. He lives within us. He is “for” us. He will never leave. Nothing that others do nor any circumstance can separate us from him.
I have experienced weakness and I have cried out for help in desperate situations. I have needed to be told over and over again by the Lord to not be afraid. I have needed his reassurance. He is our God. He is Sovereign. He has ultimate power and authority.
When we need the Lord’s strength and help, he promises to not just stand by and let us falter but to strengthen and help us. The Lord reiterates, “be assured I will help you.” We can count on his help — it is a promise!
His righteous right hand is a symbol of his justice, power, victory and salvation. That is the hand that holds us. The God of the universe, the Creator and sustainer of all is our Lord. Our Father is the One who holds us.
No wonder he tells us not to fear anything. Honestly, there is no need to!
I often share this verse with others. I hope you will think about doing the same. It may be the promise or reassurance someone needs today.
Lord, thank you for promising to be with us, to strengthen us, to help us in our weaknesses. We need you and thank you for your promise and reassurance. May the depth of this truth touch our hearts and not just our heads. Bring to mind who we could share this verse with today. In Jesus name.
‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.’”
God is your guardian, separating you from evil.
So, why do bad things happen to us?
You and God may have different definitions for the word bad. God not only read your story…he wrote it. His perspective is different and his purpose is clear. He uses struggles to toughen our spiritual skin. James urges us to “consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides…Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2,4).
Trust God’s sovereignty. He is directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life. Don’t you feel better knowing he is in control?
“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips… And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:5-8
Ever feel out of your element? Not long ago, I was asked to work in an area filled with rough and ready guys whose language matched their demeanour. I am usually a “desk jockey,” surrounded by more genteel folk. After a few days in this barrage, I considered telling these men that their language was offensive to me. Instead, not wishing to risk confrontation, I tried to ignore it.
At his commissioning, the prophet Isaiah was certainly feeling out of his element. He recognized what was in his heart, and he knew he was undone in the presence of a Holy God. Yet in a few short moments, the prophet was transformed and could proclaim, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
What made the difference? Atoning grace! It changed a cowering man to one eager to go with God’s message. Out of the prophet’s heart came willing words of obedience. Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 15 that the mouth reveals what is in the heart. When my heart isn’t right, I often express my irritation about other’s words or actions – usually through sarcastic comments. If I had voiced irritation to my coworkers about their speech, it would have shown the pride in my heart. My lips would have been unclean as well!
What if, instead of being offended by the lost ones around us, we said to God, “Here I am! Cleanse my heart and enable me to speak gracious words to them.” Maybe a good question to ask ourselves at such times is, “How is my heart?”
Lord, so often I show little compassion and much irritation toward the people around me. Please cleanse me and tune my heart to yours. May my mouth speak words of grace – from a heart purified by you. Amen.
“The Christian life is a battle,” our pastor reminded us. “Don’t let anyone tell you differently.”
Some days that battle is fierce. Some days growing like wheat among tares is stifling. The world constantly tries to press us into its mold. To enjoy its pleasures. To take our eyes off the invisible God. To give in and stop running the race.
And I keep forgetting the important truths of Scripture—truths that should be ready in my hand like a sword in the midst of a raging battle.
1. This world is not my home.
“Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
2. The Maker of heaven and earth loved me before He made heaven and earth.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
3. Christ died for me, so my slate is clean.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
4. Christ rose again, assuring me eternal life.
“Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19)
5. I might see Him today.
“Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
“Take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand. . .Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.” (Ephesians 6:14)
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13
It was about midnight and time for the shift change, when the nurse entered my hospital room and quietly wrote her name on the board. After she left the dimly lighted room, I could see her name and then below it. “Our goal for today: Keep you comfortable!”
For someone who was experiencing some pain and discomfort after surgery, those words gave me encouragement. There was actually someone whose prime goal it was to keep me comfortable.
I then thought about God’s many promises that He cares for me and wants to make me comfortable. The word comfort appears many times in the Bible, because our comfort is God’s concern. In Psalms,
“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” Psalm 119:49-50.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God“.
As I drifted in and out of sleep throughout the night, I kept looking at that note board and then turning my thoughts to God. He is my comforter. I am comforted as I read His Word. I am comforted as I pray to Him and listen for His response. I am comforted as I see God provide the needs for my life. Indeed He is the great comforter, the God of peace, the author of assurance.
What do you look for when you look for comfort? Is it in people or things? The reason the world is so uptight and stressed out is that most people are looking for their comfort in all the wrong places.
God, Himself through the person of Jesus Christ is the author and source of all comfort and peace. Try reading Psalms when you are uptight. The message will do wonders for you. Try drifting off to sleep to Psalms 4:8,
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety“.
Or just close your eyes and imagine that God too has a message board in Heaven and on it each day He writes that His goal for the day is to make you and me as comfortable as possible.
by John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
Used by Permission
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
We look for wisdom in so many worthless and futile places. But ultimate wisdom is found only when we intentionally humble ourselves before our incredible God, giving him the reverence and worship he deserves.
Magnificent and awesome God, the great expanse of space and the incredible intricacies of the things in your creation that are so small humble me to silence. Please forgive my lapses into ignorant arrogance and lead me in the way of your wisdom. In Jesus name. Amen.
The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
Definition of Wise:
Having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.
The Bible says:
“Get wisdom, get insight.” Proverbs 4:5
Why Should we get Wisdom?
Wisdom provides true and lasting happiness–something we are all striving for.
Proverbs 3:13 says,
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding. It is the key to lasting happiness.”
Proverbs 19:8 says,
“He who gets wisdom loves himself.”
Proverbs 16:16 puts it,
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! “
Proverbs 8:20 says,
“I (Wisdom) lead in the way of righteousness…”
Proverbs 3:17b states,
“Her (Wisdom) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Proverbs 4:7 says,
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”.
What are the Characteristics of a Person who has Wisdom?
Proverbs 9:10 says,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
The wisdom that leads to life and ultimate joy begins with knowing and fearing God.
Proverbs 11:2 says,
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.
The wise person is characterized by humility.
Wisdom consists in knowing and doing the commandments of God. Jesus said that hearing and doing God’s Word is godly wisdom.
Wisdom also includes sensitive, mature judgment or discernment.
Colossians 1:9 says,
“We have not ceased to pray for you, that you may be filled with knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
How Do We Get Wisdom?
Desire it with all your heart.
“Prize her (wisdom) highly and she will exalt you; she will honor you for your embrace.”
Wisdom must be valuable to us.
Saturate yourself with the Word of God.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Pray for wisdom.
James 1:5 says,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God.”
Think about the brevity of your life.
Psalm 90:12, says,
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
We must come to Jesus. Jesus is the wisdom of God.
Colossians 2:3 says,
“In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Father God, you are the source of all godly wisdom and we desire it with all our hearts. We ask that you will fill your people with your wisdom. Amen
This article has been condensed from an article by John Piper.