Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Isaiah 41:8-13 (NIV)
8 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, 9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
It is scary to obey God’s call to serve him, especially in ways that are difficult and uncomfortable. One of the most important helps we have for overcoming our fear is God’s promise to be with us. This promise is so precious that God made it into one of the nick-names for Jesus: Immanuel (which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14). God’s promise to be with us is found in many places in scripture. One of the best is today’s reading from Isaiah 41. Here God is speaking to the nation of Israel – which includes all Christians as well. Notice the connection between our being called by God to serve him (v. 9) and God promising to be with us, strengthen, uphold, and help us. This teaches that we are never safer than when we are taking the risk of serving God.