August 2018: God’s Encouraging Word … when I am frightened

“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.” – Isaiah 41:10

Soon, students and teachers will be headed back to the classroom. Some students will be getting on a bus for the first time, some will be away from Mom and Dad for the first time, or they are headed to a new school and a new classroom.  Many of those children will be very anxious.  The other side of that classroom door is completely unknown.  The worst could possibly happen.  They will wonder if they can even do it!

Likely, the same can be said every time we have an opportunity to talk about Jesus.  We’re afraid.  More than that, terrified.  What if the worst happens?  We could look so foolish.  We could stammer and trip over our words.  We could say things all wrong, or run into a question to which we don’t have an answer.  We could lose a friend or come off as “weird.”  What if people find out that we believe in Jesus with all our heart but still sin against him?  What if they call us hypocrites?

It is to such terror-stricken, spiritually terrified people that God speaks through the prophet Isaiah: “Do not fear, because I am with you.”

Picture a new kindergartener walking onto the school grounds and confronted by a couple of students intent on taking his lunch?  Just in time, the youngster’s older brother in sixth grade walks up to ward off the bullies.

God is with us, just like the big brother was with his little brother.  Except our God is infinitely more powerful, infinitely more wise, infinitely more caring.  He is not just our big brother, he is our God.  The creator-of-all-things has our back!  The courage we need to speak up about our faith rests in the one in whom we believe—the one who came to be with us to rescue us from sin and death.  In his great love for us, he strengthens and helps us, and keeps us safe.

So, do not be afraid.  Don’t be afraid this fall or at any time to talk about the Savior who has come to rescue all humanity.  Do not be afraid.  He is with you.