Fear NOT? Truth God Gives Us to Stop Fear
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:1b-2, ESV)
Over the past week, I’ve been following a devotion through Isaiah 43, asking questions that both cause me to read between the lines and give me pause to listen to what God has to say about this beautiful love letter in scripture.
And in this passage, God addresses one of the most common yet subjective, sneaky yet guttural emotions in the human experience: Fear.
Fear is a funny thing. Some people like the feeling; running head-first into haunted houses, sitting through long horror movies, or standing toes-curled at the edge of a cliff with nothing but a bungee cord to keep them from going splat. Others, like me, will do lots of things to avoid feeling afraid. (No, I do not want to go see Slenderman, but thanks for inviting me.)
Fear will cause you to take the longer route to class at school, just to avoid that mean kid that has to make a snide comment every time she sees you walk past. Fear will cause you to not take a job opportunity because you feel underqualified. Fear will cause you to wait too long to ask that guy at church out for coffee because you don’t want to feel rejected or uncomfortable.
Of course, I’m talking about fears outside of your standard fear of spiders, heights, and the boogieman. I’m talking about the big, bad, adult stuff: fear of people, rejection, and failure.
But our God, mighty and kind in all He does, leaves us encouragement to never fear things that do not line up with His mind-blowing character. No one can stand against Him. In Him, there is wholeness, confidence, and– though the world may reject us– He is there and steady; ready for us to lean up against Him. With Him, we cannot fail.
And you may have any one of the fears I just mentioned. Maybe you have all of them; maybe you have all of them and then some. But here in Isaiah 43, He leaves you two very specific things to combat your fears– two things that you can confidently stand in to make fear quake in its own boots.
1. He has called you by name. You are His.
You belong to a God who remembers you. He didn’t just create you to push you out of the nest and forget about you. God doesn’t play God. He IS God. He made you, created you, placed you, and has called you by name. Out of everyone, He has called you– intimately, passionately, and clearly. He picked you up, took you by the hand, and is continuously leading you into life-change.
It’s not a mistake. You’re not lucky, and there is no coincidence. Believe me, God is very intentional in all He does. So when fear lays siege to your heart, remember that the God who created you has already defeated death itself and given you the victory to conquer that fear. He has already called you by name so that you could answer Him and take His name.
Under that name, there is no emotional river that could overwhelm you, there is no psychological fire that could burn you. You can walk through water and fire and come out unscathed because God is so passionately for you.
2. God is with you. His words, not mine.
Just a few verses after our key verse, God again reminds us not to be afraid. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (verse 5a, NLT). So if point one isn’t doing the job, remember this: God is with you. He’s with you as you face fear, and He’s with you when you confront it head-on. And He’s not with you from a distance, He’s with you because He lives in your heart. That’s why you can send fear running: because fear sees the God of the Universe and the neutralizer of all anxiety in you, and that fact alone scares fear.
In fact, God wants you to be so sure in the fact that fear cannot stand against Him, that He reminds us twice in the span of a handful of verses to NOT FEAR.
So when you feel the creeps creeping in, remember: You have a God on your side that has called you by name to be His and is with you in all situations. He is the God of peace, the God of victory, and the God of love. He is so good and that goodness is sweeter than any tension, any lie, or any sour emotion that fear would try to distract you with.
I know from experience that Jesus is the only name and the only one you can call on when fear and anxiety take up residence in your heart. He is the only one that can calm the storm and dispel the darkness. I want to leave you with a song that pulled me out of a lot of anxiety attacks and lulled me to sleep on nights that fear kept me awake. I’ll keep it 100% and tell you I have listened to this song crying and trembling and crumpling in, and it helped me get to the feet of Jesus and lay it down. Eventually, a day came that God evicted the anxiety that constantly attacked my heart.
If fear or anxiety is coming for you today, take a moment and listen to this song, soaking in the fact that Jesus comes against and destroys all of it. Put your hope in that, friend, and then go out and conquer your day in His name.