Doubt, Fear, and Faith
Read Isaiah 41:8-16
“Do not fear, for I am with you.”
Where doubts reside, fears assail. People, even Christians, live in fear today. We fear the political winds. We fear the moral decline of our country. We fear the threat of global climate change. We fear the threat of pandemics. We fear hidden agendas and conspiracies (real or imagined). We fear the future. We fear the past. We fear the present. We see so much division in our country because we have become driven by fear, and when fears arise, we respond with anger. However, to understand the presence of so much fear in our society, we need to look no further than our faith and trust in God. When our focus shifts from God, who is the only source of security, it is natural for the heart to be gripped by anxiety and apprehension. Apart from God, there is no security, and any hope for a haven from danger becomes lost.
In Isaiah 41, the people of Judah had become seized by fear. The drumbeats of the Assyrian war machine could be heard in the distance as the threat of Assyria was become more and more real. The spiritual condition of the nation of Israel was rapidly descending into spiritual and moral chaos, and the impending doom of God’s judgment seems inevitable. It weakened the hearts of the nation and even shook the faith of those who had remained faithful to God. In response, God provides comfort for his people. While he was about to unleash the wrath of his discipline upon the rebellious nation of Israel, God was still sovereign overseeing his people. And so, in these verses, we find repeatedly the encouragement for the people not to fear. In verse 8, God reminds them of his promise to be their God. Despite the impending discipline of God, he would remain faithful to his commitment and his covenant with the nation of Israel. Because he is God, they do not need to be afraid of anything. In Isiah 8:12, he also states, “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ in regard to all this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.”
When doubts exist, then fears arise. If you find yourself gripped by fear and apprehension, it is because you have your focus on the wrong place. Instead of looking at the circumstances surrounding us, look to the God who oversees our life. He will strengthen and uphold you, and he will be your redeemer.