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 victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
When I went to seminary decades ago much of the teaching was done in the typical academic manner of the time. The emphasis was intellectual. One took notes and did papers and had tests on whatever the subject at hand was. It had the air one would expect in a classroom designed for students who had already done four years of college. One professor of the Old Testament, however, ran his class rather like confirmation.
Among other requirements, he made us memorize a list of “purple passages,” words, to quote the dictionary, that were conspicuous in their brilliance or effectiveness. He said we would need them and use them in ministry.
Isaiah 41:10 was one of those passages, and I am eternally grateful that old John Stensvaag brought it to my attention and had it become a part of my faith and my outlook on life.
Just look around. I have always thought it easier to believe in a devil, Satan, evil, whatever you want to call all the forces of life that swirl around us that hurt and destroy and kill. Just watch any newscast or visit any cancer ward in the hospital or struggle to deal with any personal or family or societal dysfunction.
Isaiah the prophet proclaims a word from the Old Testament that brings us to the heart of our Christian hope, that God is above all a God of love who lifts us up and subdues all fears. I am thankful for the constant reminder!
Quiet my fears. Thank You for the promise that You are indeed with me and do indeed hold me up.