Today’s Reading: Isaiah 41:17-43:13 (additional reading: Psalm 67:1-7 and Proverbs 23:29-35)
What’s the worst that can happen? Everyone will have a different answer to that question. And your answer will largely depend on what you are most afraid of. Dallas Willard says, “Fear is the anticipation of harm.” The death of a loved one. Your own. The loss of a child. Never having one. Being alone. Losing your job. Terrorism. War. Crime. Everybody has a worst case scenario in their lives.
In chapter 42, Isaiah describes the worst of all worst case scenarios. God has poured out his wrath on Israel. Answer the question any way you want, the worst thing in all eternity is to face the wrath of God. But then in Chapter 43, we read these phrases, ‘But now’. ‘Fear not.’ ‘I am.’
When the worst happens we don’t just lose our health or a loved one or a job or a home; we lose our identity. The tragedy is so overwhelming, that you may feel it redefines you. It tags you with a new and unwelcome label. You no longer go by your name. Now, you are a divorcee. Or a widower. Or an orphan. Or broke. Or unemployed. Or disabled. Or an adulterer. Or an addict. Or drunk. Or a thief.
That’s when you need to listen with the ears of faith for the voice of God to say, “I am. You may have lost everything, even who you are, but I am. I am here. I am what’s happening. I am with you. I am your saviour.”
But no matter how overpowering your worst case scenario is, no matter how enormous it seems, God is more powerful. In the Old Testament, God told his people, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That same God, in the person of Jesus, told the winds and waves, “Quiet! Be still.” He still has that power for the storms we face. No matter how big they are, no matter how often they come.
Our worst anxieties do not diminish God’s power. Not one bit. Listen with your faith. You will hear God speak words. The words he will speak are these. But now. Fear not. I am. And when God speaks words, everything changes.
- What label have you applied to your life?
- How has God given you a new identity?
Father, Thank You that You have given us a new identity in Jesus. Thank You that we are no longer slaves, but now friends and children. Help us to recognize who we are in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen