Displacing Your Fear
“Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4 NKJV
I was thinking recently about how easy it is for us (OK I know it is for me), to let one concern enter our thoughts and then we focus on it to the point of being obsessed. Every life has issues that arise, but we are the ones who magnify them, elevating them from the level of minor concern to obsessive fear. This is obviously not what God intends and this verse speaks to that end.
God is speaking to anyone that is dealing with a fearful heart. Whenever you get yourself stirred to a place of fear, then this becomes God’s very personal word to you at that moment. The first thing He says to you is “Be strong”. Note that this is not offered as a suggestion but is rather a command from the Lord. And know that He would not command you to do something that was not possible to achieve in Him. So, you must become strong, but how is this accomplished when we are not feeling strong at all? Here is where we need to understand that it is not our strength that is going to deliver us. You actually have His strength available to you and that strength will never fail. Choose to be strong in Him. Choose to take His strength and believe that it is at work in you. He says be strong and in Him you can be, if you choose to.
The next thing that God says to you when you are fearful in heart is to “fear not”. I read somewhere that there are 365 places in the Bible where we see the command and the direct words, “fear not”. Imagine that! He says it enough times in the Bible that you can find a new verse for every day of the year which will strengthen you to “fear not”. Once again this is a command and a choice. You can either take fear or choose to not accept it.
Finally, God says to you that when you have a fearful heart, “Behold, your God will come…” This is the certainty that we can have. He is coming and bringing deliverance. Of course from the time that was said up till now, He has come with deliverance in the person of Jesus Christ. But we can still see this as our promise, that even if you cannot see the deliverance in the midst of whatever is causing you to fear you can still know you will see it because it is already done.
He prefaces that truth with the word “behold”. In other words He is saying He is coming, His promise and the evidence of that reality are coming, but we have to behold it. The word “behold” actually means to mentally perceive it. Get a mental picture of His deliverance so it displaces the mental picture you have had of whatever you are fearful of. Behold also means to know, so you can know that His strength and deliverance are certain.
J Todd Hostetler