“9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
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.”
It often starts with little things – like the mustard bottle exploding all over your burger, shirt, and pants. No one likes a yellow badge of courage. Then the incidents begin to escalate. A car cuts you off as you exit the parking lot, a 747 pigeon splashes an abstract painting on your windshield, and as you walk up the stairs you have a foot failure which initiates a tumbling action with concurrent side effects – 97 pages covering 12 stairs, the involuntary emptying of your soft drink over 9 stairs, and your right knee smashing the remains of your burger. What can be next? It does not end on this day. It progresses from humorous, to discouragement, to frustration, to dismay. I know we all have these days.
The cumulative affect can decimate us. The Bible often uses the phrase, “Fear not, be not dismayed.” The literal meaning of the word dismay is “not to be able.” Circumstances can roll over us like a fog. The affect is that we are unable to see clearly. We begin to doubt what at other times we have seen so clearly.
Discouragement comes when we are unable to see clearly. It is at these times when we desperately need the encouragement of other believers. We need to be reminded of God’s truth. We need help in seeing straight.
Isaiah reminds us that God is with us. He is our strength and help. As He has called us to serve Him, He will make us sufficient for the task.
– Written by Edward Bradley, May 4th 2004