Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 43:10-13’

Friday, the 13th and every day: No fear in love

July 13, 2018

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

Today, July 13, 2018, is actually the second “Friday, the 13th” occurring this year. Although some react to this day in an extremely negative way, for Christian believers, however, we thank “God it’s Friday” and every day of the week. Along with the Psalmist, we declare, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Indeed, every day is a “Good News Day.”

A previous blog post focused on Friday, the 13th, and examined Scriptures related to fear. Here is an excerpt from that entry:

While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during these intense times. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that limits and inhibits. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim, described in I Peter 5:8:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” is said to occur 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

We also find great encouragement in Isaiah 41:10, 13:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

When we encounter stressful situations that cause us to respond in fear, we are encouraged to seek the strength to overcome any obstacle that attempts to block our path to success. Again the Psalmist offers this reminder:

Psalm 34:5

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

In 1 John 4:18 we find the perfect antidote to fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

Many are familiar with the acronym used to define fear: False-Evidence-Appearing-Real, but about five years ago a friend shared a new acronym for fear: Forgetting-Everything-Already-Realized. Many times fear comes into play when situations appear to be turning out in ways we had not expected. Too often we fear that God will not come through for us when we need Him to, and we panic. We forget that God is faithful to His Word, and He always keeps His promises. This phrase inspired the following poem, especially appropriate for Friday, the 13th.

Have No Fear: Remember Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear:
because fear involves torment. He who fears
has not been made perfect in love
I John 4:18

Forgetting Everything Already Realized,
Everything God performs He does with excellence.
Already set before us is every promise.
Realized with each sunrise this eternal truth:
Love Overcomes and gives us Victory Every time.
Only believe, knowing love energizes faith.
Victory is ours each time we trust God and believe,
Ever mindful that perfect love casts out all fear.
God cannot love us more and will not love us any less.
May we never forget but always remember:
Despite the storms and fiery trials, we will not fear,
Knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Friday, the 13th, is simply another day to remind us to put on our “no fear gear”; as believers, we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with a tender reminder from Steffany Gretzinger: “No Fear in Love”:

Can I get a witness?

October 8, 2016

isaiah-43-10-11

Once again, from the Prophet Isaiah come words to encourage and strengthen our hearts, as the Verse of the Day for October 8, 2016:

Isaiah 43:11-12 in the Message Bible

Get the blind and deaf out here and ready— the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes) and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears). Then get the other nations out here and ready. Let’s see what they have to say about this, how they account for what’s happened. Let them present their expert witnesses and make their case; let them try to convince us what they say is true. “But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree. “You’re my handpicked servant So that you’ll come to know and trust me, understand both that I am and who I am. Previous to me there was no such thing as a god, nor will there be after me. I, yes I, am God. I’m the only Savior there is. I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene. And you know it, you’re my witnesses, you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree. “Yes, I am God. I’ve always been God and I always will be God. No one can take anything from me. I make; who can unmake it?”

Here is how the New Living Testament puts it:

Isaiah 43:10-13

“But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord.
“You are my servant.
You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
and understand that I alone am God.
There is no other God—
there never has been, and there never will be.
11 I, yes I, am the Lord,
and there is no other Savior.
12 First I predicted your rescue,
then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.
No foreign god has ever done
You are witnesses that I am the only God,”
says the Lord.
13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
No one can undo what I have done.”

In this passage the phrase “you are witnesses” brings to mind an expression said to have its origins in the African American Christian Church: “Can I get a witness?”

Many times an individual will testify of the goodness of God and relate an incident whereby God intervened in that person’s life in a divine and supernatural way. The speaker who is sharing his/her testimony will seek affirmation from the congregation from those who can agree and bear witness of the same. The question is raised “Can I get a witness?” also the title of the following:

Can I Get a Witness?

This is the third time I am coming to visit you

 (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established

by the testimony of two or three witnesses”).

2 Corinthians 13:1

Can I get a witness? Tell me what do you see?

Can you testify God is who He said He would be?

Probing the depths of God’s love, what do you discern?

We embrace afflictions that we might truly learn

To please the Master, striving toward our destiny.

As we stand, do you see bond-slaves now set free?

Those transformed who yearn for deeper intimacy,

As the passion for God’s Word continues to burn.

Can I get a witness?

Assess the whole of our life’s work done heartily

As to the Lord, who reigns for all eternity.

By grace, far beyond any wages we might earn,

Wherein we boldly stand blameless at Christ’s return

When we will hear “Well done, you have served faithfully.”

Can I get a witness?

Philipps, Craig, and Dean raise the same question: “Can I Get a Witness?”