“One-A-Week Challenge” – Week 35

isaiah-43-1-3_desktop_large“Thus says the Lord …Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by by name; you are mine!”

Isaiah 43:1 nasb

Life is more of a marathon than a sprint. It is easy to celebrate the pinnacles and curse the pitfalls. We are filled with faith in the times of plenty but are filled with fear in problematic times. We bless the mountaintops and bane the valleys.

Denzel Washington once said,
“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it.”

I kind of like that. It reminds me of one of the central truths of God’s word. God says, “Do not fear … I have redeemed you … you are mine!” Contained within this awesome verse we see the Proclamation, Provision, and Promise of God to His children.

1. The Proclamation is clear … “Do not fear.” This is not the announcement of another human being. It is not a word from simply someone who loves us, but it is from the One who created us. We are repeatedly instructed through God’s word that fear is never the best thing for the child of God. Fear is the opposite of faith and faith is the gift of God. Therefore, don’t be afraid!

2. The Provision of God is convincing … “I have redeemed you.” The word redeemed is lost in our modern vocabulary. In Old Testament times everyone knew what it meant for a person to be redeemed. The word literally means “to buy back from bondage through a payment.” This is exactly what God has done for all who believe. Paul wrote the church in Ephesus “you were dead in your trespasses and sins … But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2: 1,4-5a) God has redeemed us with a great price (1 Cor. 6:20)– the free gift of God in Christ Jesus.

3. The Promise of God is certain … “you are mine!” Because we are His, we can be sure along with Paul who wrote “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s God. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love … indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31b,38,39b) nlt.