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Devotional: February 11, 2021

Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

Isaiah 41: 9-10 The Message

These calm assurances from the prophet Isaiah would surely have been welcomed by his people. Once again, the nation of Israel was contending with enemies. In fact, much of the rest of the chapter speaks of enemies. Yet the tone in this chapter is one of calm, rather than panic.

In some of the next verses, Isaiah emphasizes this same point again, saying, When you go out looking for your old adversaries you won’t find them— Not a trace of your old enemies, not even a memory. That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’

Isaiah 41: 12-13. The Message

How refreshing to look at the world through the eyes of faith! Unfortunately, much of the tone of our contemporary world, especially the media, is one of panic. Why? Panic gets headlines, and clicks on social media. Panic and fear sells.

But at what cost? Surely our Lord doesn’t desire for us to live in a state of constant panic and anxiety. In spite of rising and fearful voices which attempt to keep us on an emotional rollercoaster, we can listen to a different voice: the calming, reassuring voice of our Lord.

God says he will not let go, and that He has a firm grip on us. By having this embrace, He wants to hold us in such a loving way that we resist the temptation to dust things up with our old enemies. Basically, God wants to protect us from pushing our panic button.

Part of the reason for the authority with which the Lord commands calm is found in His identity. Our God is the creator of every one of us! He is also the creator of everything! He wants to be with us, because He created us. He sees each individual as good, and worthy of the effort. As a parent with children, I would ask myself in certain situations, “is it worth it”? Well thankfully, our Lord never asks Himself that question. We all are worth it, and He wants to keep us safe.

In another verse from this chapter, Isaiah imagines God saying to His creation, “ I’m first on the scene. I’m also the last to leave.” God is literally our first responder, and He doesn’t ever leave us, or abandon us. Because of who God is, we can rest and find peace in His love, His control, and His care. Amen.

Prayer

Lord, I am so thankful that no matter what, I cannot lose You. You are faithful to me even when I don’t feel worthy of that faithfulness. Help me to remember that when the fears and struggles of the world overwhelm me, You have it all under Your control. Your timing is not my timing. May I find the peace You offer me abundantly. Let me rest in Your amazing love.

Thankfully I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen


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