Read Isaiah 41
Focus on verse 10
Fear is a powerful motivator. It can cause us to do things we would typically not do under normal conditions. When we overcome our fear and do not allow it to manipulate our actions, we demonstrate courage. Courage is not so much the absence of fear as it is the ability to move forward in spite of it. So it would seem the key to finding our courage begins with overcoming our fear.
In today’s reading the Lord encourages his people through the words of Isaiah, “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.” The words “fear not” occur frequently in the scriptures, most often when the Lord is addressing a person directly. It would seem when the Lord, or an angel of the Lord, appears to a person it is a potentially frightening experience.
According to the words of the Apostle John the greatest antidote to fear that we have available to us is love. Perfect love – the love that God makes available to us – casts out all fear. When we take this in the immediate context where John also writes that “God is love”, we can see more clearly how this works – if God is perfect love, and if perfect love casts our all fear, it is essentially God who is casting our fear. This also makes more sense when we understand that when we invite the Holy Spirit of God to dwell within us and allow Him to direct our steps, we really have nothing to fear. Its not that He will never lead us into dangerous situations, it is rather that regardless of our immediate circumstance, the safest place for us to be is always in the center of God’s will. The most frightening place for us to be is to be separated from Him by our arrogance and rebellion.
There is only one place where we can truly know no fear and we find that place only when we walk in obedience to the will of God in all we do. What that will look like will be different for every person. For some of us it may take us to what may appear to be dangerous places, for others, it might mean a quiet life in a safe neighborhood cleaning up after children and doing laundry. What makes it the center of God’s will is not how glamorous or dangerous the job we are doing is, rather it is that we are confident that we are doing what He created us to do. When we have that confidence, we can walk into any situation without fear.