“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.” Isaiah 41:10
Have you ever had that moment at the restaurant? The one where your frilly little girl loudly and proudly belches and then declares to her father, “That’s a good one!” Oh girl, I have. It happens more often than I would like to admit. My husband thinks its hilarious. I crawl under the table in embarrassment.
But I must admit, that’s one thing I love about my husband. He may not be the best at teaching my children proper etiquette, but he always has fun with them. He makes them smile and laugh and when they are down, he lifts them up. He is proud of them. And He loves them.
Aren’t we glad we have a Father in heaven who lifts us up like that? You may have had an earthly father who hurt you. He may have given you ten put downs for every put up. Imagining The Lord as loving is difficult for you. How could a father love you no matter what? The only kind of love you know is the kind you have to earn. Or maybe you never earned it, and you have now stamped yourself unloveable. How can you trust your Heavenly Father to lift you up, to strengthen you, to help you, if your earthly father never did?
Learning to trust the Lord is first an act of the will, and second a response of the emotions. An act of the will born not of our own strength, but the strength of the Lord. If we wait until we feel like trusting God, we never will. Rather we ask Him to help us put our faith in Him and continue to do this until our hearts have enough evidence to follow.
I love what Charles Spurgeon writes when meditating upon this verse…
“And shall it ever come to this, that God’s own children shall say that they cannot believe their God? Oh, sin of sins! It takes away the very Godhead from God, for if God be not true, he is not a God; and if he be not fit to be believed, neither is he fit to be adored, for a God whom you cannot trust you cannot worship.”
If we cannot trust our God, we cannot worship our God. If we cannot trust Him, He cannot be our God in the first place. For God cannot violate who He is. He is love poured out. He is love that does not have to be held up to glory, rather He holds you up and let’s you shine in His glory. He is proud of you. He lives in you and He strengthens you. He is not a father whose love is to be evidenced by our own examples and expectations dictated by our past and present circumstances and emotions. He is God, and He is the I AM. The I AM who is not just with you, but within you. And so He declares, moreover commands, Do Not Fear…I AM.