When You're Afraid
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. I wish this wasn’t the case, but I’ve found myself struggling with fear in this season of my life. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of never living up to my expectations. Fear of not being able to truly live out my purpose. These are just a few that I have been grappling with. The thing is—I know that God instructs us not to fear. I think we all know this. However, oftentimes, this is easier said than done. It’s easy to say “I will not fear” when you’re not in a difficult or uncertain situation. It’s much harder to make that declaration when you’re in the middle of something that makes you very afraid. Can any of you relate?
During my devotional time this morning, I found myself reading Isaiah 41:10 (NIV), where God says, “So 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.” As I meditated on this verse, my very first thought went something like this: “God, You know what I’m currently walking through. How can you expect me not to feel afraid right now?” Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting a response; I was merely reminding God that what I’m walking through is tough and it is very scary. However, when I looked down at the verse again, something stood out to me that never did before. I can’t count how many times I have read and studied this verse, but today, it seemed like God was revealing something so obvious, yet I found it incredibly profound. I was seeing the verse in a new light. The Holy Spirit helped me realize that the answer to my question was right in front of me. God expects me not to feel afraid in this season of my life because He is with me—like the verse says. He expects me to not be dismayed because He is my God, and because of this, He will take care of me. Why should I fear when the God of the universe is with me and promises to help me? It was like a light bulb went off in my head and I was seeing this season of my life from a different perspective. The promise of Isaiah 41:10 is so beautiful and should be cherished by those of us who struggle with feeling afraid. This morning, I was reminded that yes, what I’m walking through right now is hard and it’s scary sometimes, but even though I feel the fear, it doesn’t mean that I have to submit to it or allow it to control me. In the midst of my fear, I can hold onto God’s promise that He will be with me in the midst of it.
The next time a fearful thought comes to your mind, or you feel afraid or uncertain about a situation in your life, declare the truth that not only is God with you in the midst of it, He will also help you and uphold you with His righteous right hand.
When you’re afraid, remember the promise of Isaiah 41:10.