What a great time. Thanks to all that came to this event at Dede’s wine shop!!
Do not fear I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
Fear is part of the human experience. We are afraid of situations we find ourselves in. We wish we did not have to face them.
Last year before I had my hip replacement, I was afraid. Rational thinking would have told me that I had a very competent surgeon, that I would be in an excellent modern hospital and that 95% of hip replacements are successful – and the other 5% don’t usually die! But it was a new experience for me and I was afraid of the unknown.
In sport we can fear injury. We can fear not being able to perform to our potential on the big day. We can fear not being able to live up to everyone else’s expectations of us. In the Film Chariots of Fire, Harold Abrahams who has sacrificed everything to win the 100 metres in the 1924 Olympic final confesses to a friend: “I’ve known the fear of losing but now I am almost too frightened to win”. [There was a happy ending – Abrahams did win.]
Gordon Cooke writing on this passage said that there is nothing more reassuring for an anxious child than to take the hand of an adult they trust. As we get older we ask if the “adult” is worthy of our trust and is actually able to help with what we fear.
God offers to help with our fear but can we believe him? Three times in the chapter God says, “Do not fear” and gives a reason.
1 Do not fear…I am your God, I will strengthen you (v10)
2 Do not fear…I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand (v13)
3 Do not fear…I, your redeemer, will help you (v14)
Next time you feel afraid imagine God holding your hand saying “Don’t be afraid, I will help you, I will strengthen you.
Do not fear, for I am with you.Isaiah 43:5
I make no apology for writing another devotional on fear. Fear is so much part of the human experience. As people living in the world of sport, we are no less prone to fear than others.
It’s easy to say to someone, “Don’t be afraid”. Imagine that you are on a sinking ship or in a burning tower block and someone says, “don’t be afraid!” Will that help? You might be thinking, “Actually I have every reason to be afraid! The chances of getting out of this situation alive are not great”. I supposed, too, that it depends on who tells not to be afraid.
In Isaiah 43, it is God who tells the people not to be afraid. What is more, God gives people four reasons not to be afraid.
I have redeemed you ((v1)
The Old Testament people had a partial understanding of God as their redeemer. As Christians, we know that we are redeemed because Jesus has died for us. We are restored to relationship with God.
I have called you by name ((v1)
As humans, we love it when people remember our name. Somehow we feel more important! How much more significant we can feel when we remember that God knows us by name!
I will be with you ((v2)
Life is always easier in difficult situations when we’re not alone. It’s good to have a friend with us. How much greater to have God’s promise that He is with us.
I love you (v4)
We all need to be loved, but human love is nothing compared to the love of God. When we feel afraid we can remind ourselves that God loves us. Whatever situation you are facing, don’t be afraid for God is with you. Stuart Weir