do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
The devil is a bully. What do bullies do? They pick on you when you’re alone. They almost never attack or bully when they’re out numbered. The devil wants to separate you from God and those who point you towards God. The devil wants to make you feel alone and helpless. The devil wants to rob you of your joy in the Lord. But WE ARE NOT ALONE! We don’t have to fear, because God is with us. The devil doesn’t want us to feel like God is with us, but He is. In Matthew 1:23, the angel even says that Jesus should be called Emmanuel which means “God is with us.” Have you ever been bullied? Remember how alone you felt? We don’t have to feel that anymore. We need to remember that God is with us and that He’s got the situation under control. Expect Him to show up in cool and unusual ways!
I will strengthen you, I will help you
Going back to that bullying idea. The devil wants you to feel weak. Bullies try to take away your power. Well, our power is in the Lord. He is the source of our strength and our power. When we’re in trouble, when the devil is attacking, God will strengthen you. He will help you. Trust HIM!
You’re going to be attacked. And let me tell you the closer you get to God, the more you spend time with Him, the more the devil gets frustrated. He attacks. And he’s good at it. But we have one who is stronger. One who can show us the way. The one who can stop arguments in their tracks by helping us own up to our mistakes. Do you know how quickly arguments end when one person says, “Your right, I shouldn’t have done that.”? So often in our marriages and friendships, we end up trying to defend ourselves instead of owning up to our sin. It’s not easy to do, but boy does it change things. Because we have God on our side, we’re able to admit our sins and restore relationships. Without God, I find admitting my wrongs is almost impossible.
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand
But with God all things are possible. No matter how far wrong things have gone, God is able to fix the problem. Relationships, our needs, our dreams and our faith are all in God’s hands. He can take care of any of them. This part of the verse reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago on my morning walk with my friend. She and I were walking, and she was on the street side of the sidewalk. We’re walking along fine, when she loses her balance and starts to fall toward the street, where a semi was barreling along. By the grace of God, I was able to grab her arm and pull her back from what could have been disaster. That’s what God does for us. We’re walking along. Everything seems to be going well in our lives, then WHAMO! We trip up. Life gets hard. We make a mistake, we sin, and fall short of the Glory of God. We don’t reflect Him in our lives. But God upholds us with his victorious right hand. He reaches out and pulls us back to Him. By His grace we are able to continue on.
Have you tripped up?