“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.”
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
It’s been five months since the shutdown began for Covid-19. During that time we still face a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in turn leads to fear. The fear of the unknown generates dismay.
Dismay is defined by the online dictionary as: “consternation and distress, typically that is caused by something unexpected.” Webster’s definition states: “to cause to lose courage or resolution (as because of alarm or fear).” According to the Collins English Dictionary, “dismay is a strong feeling of fear, worry, or sadness that is caused by something.” For us, the something is Covid-19.
Isaiah the prophet lived during a time of great fear and dismay. Israel was surrounded by pagan enemy nations bent on destroying her. In fact, Isaiah had prophesied that she would be defeated and would be in exile for 70 years in Babylon.
The Hebrew word for dismay means “to look in dismay or to gaze about in anxiety.” As the people looked around them, they were fearful and dismayed at the uncertainty they faced. What would happen to them as a nation? Would they ever return the promised land from their exile? Would God still be there for them?
The Lord answers those questions and more through Isaiah in verse ten of chapter 41: “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.”
He assures them that even in the midst of fear, dismay, and uncertainty that God is “with them”. Even though they are going away in exile, he will go with them. In their dismay, He is still their God. He is a personal God who cares for them. He promises to help them, strengthen them, and uphold them by His right hand.
The same is true for us. Even though we have feeling of fear and dismay, God, through His Son Jesus is still with us and is still our God. He still helps us, strengthens us, and upholds us with His right hand.
Let us be a church that turns our fear and dismay into trust because we know Who holds the future.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.