Isaiah 41:10: “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.”

In chapter 41 of his book, Prophet Isaiah describes a global catastrophe that throws the world population into sheer panic (Isaiah 41: 5-7):

“Far-flung ocean islands see it and panic.
    The ends of the earth are shaken.
    Fearfully they huddle together.
They try to help each other out,
    making up stories in the dark.
The godmakers in the workshops
    go into overtime production, crafting new models of no-gods,
Urging one another on—‘Good job!’ ‘Great design!’—
    pounding in nails at the base
    so that the things won’t tip over.”   
*Bible version: The Message

Reading the above lines, I was suddenly reminded of the events in 2020 when a pandemic hit that impacted every nation on the face of the earth. Interestingly, right after this gloomy paragraph in Isaiah 41, Verse 8 starts out with the word “But”. “But” means “despite of” and highlights a turning point that we don’t want to miss (Isaiah 41:8-10):

“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.      *Bible version: The Message

It’s a human tendency to put hope in things that do not last. Usually a crisis will strip people of such vain hope. Isolated as people were amid the 2020 pandemic, nobody was able to rely on their human connections. Not even their economic status could entirely protect them. Millions of people lost their jobs overnight when economies worldwide shut down.

In challenging times like these we do not need to be fearful if we believe that the Lord is real. God is with His children, no matter what happens. If we don’t know the Lord, He still knows us and cares for us. Reaching a dead end, we are encouraged to call on Him. He will come to our rescue and see us through all the days of our lives, and especially then when we need Him the most.

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