This was originally posted on April 13, 2013.
I am currently involved in an online Bible study that just started this week. The title of the study is “Stressed-Less Living” based on the book by the same title, authored by Tracie Miles. The Bible study is sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries and is facilitated by Melissa Taylor. If you are interested in joining, here’s the link to Melissa’s website: http://melissataylor.org/
Our key Bible verse for this first week of study is Isaiah 41:10 “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.” (NIV)
|When I study scripture, I love to read the verses from different translations. Often, I find a deeper meaning just by a few words being changed. One of my favorite translations is The Message: “But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you.” (vs. 8-10)The Message groups verses together in a different way than other translations. I included verses 8-9 because I want you to think about what God is saying here. Yes, He is speaking to the Israelites – but His Word is just as true and faithful today as it was then. Think on what God is saying to us:
“I’ve pulled you in . . .” “I called you . . .” “I’ve picked you . . .”
This is the Almighty God, creator of the universe, telling you—and me—He has called us. He’s chosen us for “such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) God doesn’t make mistakes—you are here for this time and for the purpose He has for you in life. (Jeremiah 29:11) He calls us His sons and daughters. He says He is enthralled by our beauty (Psalm 45:11). He calls us “Beloved.”
“I haven’t dropped you.” I love the picture those four words paint, and they bring back to my mind a dream God gave me many years ago when my life had shattered into a million pieces and I thought I would not be able to go on. The dream was very simple and left no doubt in my mind it came from God:
God was sitting in a rocking chair, cradling me in His arms, not as a baby, but as an adult—my age at the time of the dream. His arms were wrapped around me, indicating to me He would never let go – He would never drop me. And He hasn’t.
“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.” The English Thesaurus translates the word ‘panic’ as “fright, terror, fear, dread, lose your nerve, go to pieces.” We should not lose our nerves, be fearful, terrorized. We do not have to experience any of these definitions because there is a Scripture that counteracts all of them: II Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (KJV)
“I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you.”
Psalm 28:7 says “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped.”
Whatever you are struggling with in life right now—health, finances, family issues, work, relationships, anything—trust in God and you will be helped.