We’re continuing our discovery of how to have courage whatever our circumstances.
The Bible repeatedly says: “Do not be afraid.” And, we’re finding, God doesn’t stop there with his command. He gives us good reasons why we should have no fear. In this post, we’re learning we should not be afraid because:
“I,” says God “am with you.”
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.Genesis 26:24
This little phrase can be so familiar that it loses its meaning. But, there are actions we can take to hold onto its significance.
God spoke these particular words to Issac, but God has repeated this promise throughout history from Abraham to you and me.
Issac was on the verge of losing everything. He faced hostility from people around him who were actively destroying his livelihood. In the middle of this time of deep stress, God came to him and reminded him: “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
And here’s how Issac responded: He built an altar. Not only did the altar help him commemorate and remember the significance of the moment, but it became a place to worship God. Fast forward a number of years. God again told his people not to be afraid because he was with them. This time, the people had returned from exile, but they were failing to rebuild the temple. If they did, they would, like Issac, have had a place to worship and commemorate what God had done for them and remember his promise to be with them.
We too are reminded that the same God who was with Abraham and Isaac and his people of old is with us. Matthew begins his book by telling us that Jesus’ birth means God is with us. He ends his book with the words of Jesus: “I am with you always.”
This Christmas season, how are you remembering that God is with you?
Are you in a time of deep stress?
Ask God to reveal himself to you in a special way, like he did with Issac.
Where are you worshipping God with his people?
Make a commitment to attend a special Christmas service this Advent season and draw strength and relief from whatever fears you are facing by being reminded Immanuel – God with us.