Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
I — I Am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear humans who die, or a son of man who is given up like grass?Isaiah 51:12 (CSB)
I have been battling an onslaught of fear lately and I have been failing greatly. My fears have become overwhelming and I feel like I am suffocating.
The hard part is that I know I am failing God by letting my fears get the better of me, which adds a tremendous layer of guilt to my suffocating feelings of fear. I get why people want to hide from God — how could God ever be OK with us when we get to this level of out-of-control feelings?
Last Saturday I was awful. My fears got the better of me so much so my words were horrendous to everyone (including God), I picked a fight with anyone within a 5 cm radius from me, and I was so hopeless feeling I was ready to completely give up. I’m absolutely NOT proud of myself. I apologized to everyone, including God, so many times I’m sure everyone is sick of me bringing it up. It may be a done deal to everyone else, but the shame seems to be sticking to me like glue.
I’m currently reading through Isaiah right now in my weekly Bible studies. I adore Isaiah. It’s my most favorite OT text. Yeah, there is a lot of warning and a ton of talk of destruction, but Isaiah also contains so much hope. I love all of the passages that detail Jesus as the Messiah and His coming, and I love all the moments when God talks about how things will be at the end for His righteous ones.
I chose Isaiah 51:12 to talk about today because it is another one of those verses that’s meant to help us stay on God’s track. It’s a verse that allows us to take captive our (negative, negligent) thoughts so we can obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). First thing to know, this verse is God actually speaking — words straight from the Lord of Armies’s mouth. Second thing to note is the repetition of “I.” When God repeats words in a sentence He is trying to make a BIG point. In this verse, God acknowledges that we humans get filled with fear. He even recognizes that what we fear the most is other humans. BUT God, God, is our comforter. He is there as Lord of Armies to protect His kids. Why would we ever fear any human who is here today, gone tomorrow?
I admit that my head TOTALLY gets this. Yes! God is my Abba, and as such He will protect me from everything coming against me. At the very least, He will walk with me through the fire. But my heart struggles to trust this. I’ve been hurt before … really badly. If I read a history book, or even the Bible itself, I can see with my eyes the way countless women and children have been ripped apart, raped, and murdered at the hands of men as if they were nothing more than trash. I dare say many of those historical women and children were believers in God. Men can get really evil and scary. Men are right here in front of my face. I can’t deny the scary. So how do I rise above it and trust God will see me and my loved ones through?
I often compare myself to the greats in the Bible — Abraham, David, Isaiah, Jesus — and I always come away grossly lacking. Then I get stressed and my thoughts begin to spiral and my fears grow bigger and bigger. How can I ever succeed in the plan God has for me — how can I ever make Him proud of me as His daughter — when I struggle so badly with fear? How will I ever trust that God will comfort me, protect me? How can I be like the Biblical greats when I can’t seem to shake my dumb feelings?
I honestly do not know the answer today. Today, I am still struggling. BUT, I’m desperate for Jesus. I pray all the time and I read His Word every day. Maybe God is laying down a foundation of strength, unbeknownst to me in this present moment, that will equip me in the days to come. Maybe it will be because I prayed and studied God’s Word all the time that when the really scary things come the Holy Spirit will be able to comfort me through the troubles. I don’t know at this moment. All I know is that I’m going to keep on keeping on — I’m going to pray ceaselessly and study God’s Word continuously until it’s my time to go Home.
What about you, dear reader? How are you doing today?