Fear Not – God’s Proclamation
Isaiah 43:1-5 — Many today are oppressed by fear. Fear cripples our life and prevents us from achieving our goals. In Isaiah 43, God’s prophet reminds us of four truths concerning our God; four things that when applied to our lives, alleviate our fears and cause us to know the peace of God which passes all human understanding.
Many today are oppressed by fear. Fear cripples a life and prevents us from achieving our goals. According to psychological publications, there are 530 different phobias including Phobophobia – the fear of phobias. Many of these phobias would seem irrational to those of us who do not have such fears; yet those who are overtaken by these fears find them at times to be debilitating.
In Isaiah 43, God’s prophet reminds us of four truths concerning our God; four things that when applied to our lives, alleviate our fears and cause us to know the peace of God which passes all human understanding. Before we consider these four truths, let’s understand a simple thought together — if we want to know the peace of God and avoid the debilitating effects of fear, then we must know God and invite Him into the story of our lives. This is the overarching message of these five verses of Isaiah 43.
The first truth that alleviates our fear is centered on the PROCLAMATION OF GOD. Twice in these five verses, the Lord through His prophet shares the admonition to FEAR NOT. The idea of this proclamation is that as a child of God we have nothing to fear. Although the circumstances around us may be difficult and clarity may have been replaced by confusion, there is nothing for God’s beloved to fear. We see this same admonition given just a few chapters back in Isaiah 41:10 where we read, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
For many, this simple proclamation may not seem to be enough to alleviate our fears. We may feel as though we need more to bring comfort and to calm our anxious hearts. God who knows our frame and who knows that we are but dust gives to us four thoughts which strengthen the proclamation. He gives us four reasons why we need not fear.
We have been REDEEMED. One of the greatest fears that man must confront is the fear of what comes after death. For the believer, there is no fear of death for Christ has given us the victory. We have been redeemed by the work of Christ on Calvary. This term redemption reminds us that we are loved and precious to the Lord. It also reminds us that God so loved us, He gave His only begotten Son for us. In love, the Son gave Himself a ransom for our sins. We were redeemed or purchased not by corruptible things like silver and gold, but by the precious sacrifice of our Savior, by His blood shed for the remission of our sins. As we comprehend and contemplate these truths, what then have we to fear.
We have been CHOSEN. Isaiah also reminded the people of God that they had nothing to fear because they were God’s chosen people. Specifically in the context, we understand this to speak of their covenant position. Yet, there is comfort for us today for in the New Testament we find that the church is also a chosen generation (1 Pt 2:9). Here we find a precious, sacred family secret that we are special to God, called out of this world to serve Him. Why then would we need to be afraid?
We are His POSSESSION. If we are redeemed and chosen by Him, then the third truth is the natural result: we are His possession. We belong to Him! How sweet are the words that Isaiah shares, “THOU ART MINE!” Perhaps Paul had these words in mind when he penned chapter 8 of the book of Romans and he asked, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom 8:35) When we are tempted to be afraid, overcome, or overwhelmed by that which surrounds us, let us rest in the truth that I am a child of God. I am His and He is mine.
He is PRESENT with us. The final fact that Isaiah shares in order to alleviate our fears and distress is the truth that He, God, is with us. Loneliness intensifies fear. When we feel as if no one else knows or no one else cares, our fears increase. When we think that there is no one to help us and we become isolated in our problems, we need to come back to this simple reality that God is with us. In Hebrews 13:5, we are reminded that we can be content in whatever state we find ourselves because of this promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” In verse 6 we read that we can then boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Today, you may be overcome by fear. You may be overwhelmed by circumstances outside of your control. People may be oppressing you. Problems may be depressing you, but there is hope. There is help. God meets us where we are and declares FEAR NOT.