If eyes could wear out a page, there would be a hole in my old maroon Bible where Isaiah 41:10 lives:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Anxiety was my default until my life was turned upside down by a God who works best with empty things. I brought him nothing. He gave me the gift of himself, and with that came a core of strength that has stood me up when I wanted to sit down and kept me faithful when I wanted to give up.
Scripture verses are not magic words. Isaiah 41:10 is a gust of worthless wind unless it points to a God who keeps the shimmering promises written on the Bible’s thin, silky pages, so let’s devote the rest of your time here to context. If, by faith, you have been folded into the family of God, many of the promises God makes to “Jacob” or “Israel” apply to his church as well. You can believe him for strength, certainty, and a powerful upholding because of who he is. Feast on his self-revelation in these selected verses from Isaiah 41:
Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment.
Who stirred up one from the east
whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
like driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them and passes on safely,
by paths his feet have not trod.
Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, the first,
and with the last; I am he.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”
Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
This is the Word of the Lord.
It is absolutely true, and it is given to us in love.
Thanks be to God.
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