Isaiah 41:10 - God's Empowering Presence. (updated)
Isaiah 41:10 - God's Empowering Presence. (updated)
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) 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.
When did you last feel the presence of God in your life? I
don't mean a merely intellectual recognition that God is with you, for
He is everywhere; but rather, when did you last recognize in your
heart that God is personally, intimately abiding in you?
If you are like many believers, it may have been a while
since you really felt His presence. Too many people go about their
lives without a genuine sense of God's closeness. What a tragedy!
Repeatedly in Scripture, we see that whenever God calls
someone into His service, He first reminds the person of His enduring
presence. We see this in the stories of Moses (Ex. 3:11, 12), Joshua
(Josh. 1:1-9), Gideon (Judg. 6:12), and Jeremiah (Jer. 1:6-8), to name
just a few. These men discovered, as we can, that the awareness of
God's presence energizes us for our work.
Why does God repeatedly assure His followers of His presence?
He does so because we need to be reminded of the reasons for our
confidence. Each time God calls a servant into action, He essentially says,
"You can be strong and courageous because I am with you. Victory
isn't about your abilities, your strength, your skill, your armor,
your gifts, or your dedication; it has to do with My presence. You
can be strong because I will be strong in you."
When Jeremiah trembled at the thought of the difficult
ministry ahead of him, the Lord strengthened him with these words: "'They
will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I
am with you,' says the Lord, 'to deliver you'" (Jer. 1:19).
God knows how difficult life can be and He knows every detail
of each struggle you will ever face. As a believer in Christ Jesus,
you can trust that your heavenly Father will keep His Word. He is
with you right now, and He always will be, as He promises in His
Word: "'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say,
'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"'
(Heb. 13:5, 6). [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Isa.
As our relationship with God deepens, we hear His voice more
and more clearly. That's an amazing privilege, but it's also a
weighty responsibility. Why? Because when we believe we've heard
direction from Him, we have to choose whether to follow it or not, even
when it seems risky or potentially embarrassing. Once we hear, we
can't remain neutral. And when we follow in faith, faith gets tested.
Delays and adverse circumstances seem to mock our beliefs and our
resolve. The tests can be fierce.
God is with us in these tests. When He has spoken, we need
encouragement to believe. In adversity and delays, we will face doubts,
obstacles, wise-sounding but uninformed counsel, temptations to give up,
and much discouragement. That's when He tells us, "Don't be afraid
... don't be discouraged ... I will strengthen you." God promises
victory to those who endure, so He gives us enough strength - usually
just enough so faith is still required - to keep us going. He wants
us to succeed and not give up.
In the walk of faith, we can't afford to doubt, worry, fear,
or complain - the very symptoms that kept a generation of
Israelites out of their Promised Land. All of these attitudes severely
undermine God's work on our behalf, not because He can't do whatever He
wants but because He has chosen to relate to us on the basis of our
faith. Negative attitudes and words undermine faith. They devalue the
very currency we have to use in God's Kingdom.Wherever God's voice
and your faith are leading you, do not be afraid or dismayed.
Lord, if I've misheard You, I'll trust You to correct me. But
until You do, I'm hanging on in faith. I reject doubt, fear, worry,
and complaining. I won't give up. [The One Year Experiencing God's
Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
I became pregnant with our fourth child in March 2003. A
routine ultrasound and amniocentesis revealed that our baby girl had a
fatal chromosome disorder called mosaic triploidy and would never live
outside my womb. We were offered termination, but I knew that God had
chosen us as her parents because we would honor the gift of her life no
matter what. We named her Gabriella Grace. Against all odds, I carried
her the full forty weeks. On December 8, she was born alive,
amazingly, and the Lord graciously granted us almost four whole days with
her before taking her home to be with him.
I am so grateful and undeserving of his mercy, which allowed
me to share Gabriella with her family, feed her, change her diaper,
and most of all, rock her, stroke her hair, and memorize her
features. We played hymns and praise songs in her little room in the NICU
(neonatal intensive care unit). My husband and I took turns reading the
Bible to her. The Spirit of the Lord was alive in that little room
every day, but especially as she peacefully fell asleep in her earthly
father's arms and awoke in the arms of the Savior on December 12. I will
never be the same.
I wrote Isaiah 41:9-10 on note cards, posting them all around
my house, and its truth carried me when the weight was too great.
But I do not mourn as if I have no hope, for Gabriella Grace is not
lost, just gone from me. One day when the Lord calls me home, she will
be there, and we will never have to say good-bye again!
Monica Culver, a wife and homeschooling mom, has six children
(including Gabriella Grace) and lives in Battle Ground, Indiana. [The One
Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
EXCELLENT VIDEO ON GOD WORKING IN THE LIFE OF A SURRENDERED
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD: