But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 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. —Isaiah 41:8–10 (ESV)
Isaiah 41 is a long address from the Lord meant to encourage Israel as the nation faces threats and war from another nation. God speaks of ‘those who quarrel with you…who war with you’. Despite the conflict and its impact on God’s people, God instructs them not to fear!
In today’s passage, the Lord reminds His people that they are chosen! They are the offspring of Abraham, whom God calls ‘my friend’. He reminds them that they are called, gathered from the ‘ends of the earth’. “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off.” Having called this to mind, God then commands them: “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.” God offers good reasons not to fear, for He himself is present with them. He promises to strengthen, help, and uphold His people!
As Christians in the 21st century, we share in this promise of God’s help, presence, and protection. God’s promise isn’t to prevent hardships and trials. No—conflicts, troubles, and trials will come. But when they do, God promises us His strength, peace, and presence. Remember the words Jesus left His disciples with: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Today, God’s Spirit dwells within us, strengthening us and reassuring us we are His. Walk in confidence this week and in the days ahead, that regardless of the obstacles in front of you, you need not fear, for God is with you.