Article: Firm Foundation
“Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God…” Isaiah 41:10
Fear is a silent and deadly killer. It may not bring immediate destruction to the body, but fear kills the inner man by crushing dreams, stifling happiness, and by persistently pushing the mind into a dark corner that is filled with unknowns. Fear is used as a tool of the enemy of mankind to induce us to retreat from the great adventures of life, and to take our eyes off of the God of light and peace that desires that we should find our satisfaction in Him.
Psalm 42 is a masterful song, penned by David, who had endured much at the hands of those who hated him so much that they sought to end his life. They pursued his destruction with all of their might, but David knew he could find hope in God- he knew that nothing would come against him except that which God allowed. In this psalm, its almost as if you can actually hear him pacing across the floor, on one hand expressing his angst, and on the other hand reminding himself of God’s promises. He asks himself, “Why are you downcast, oh my soul; why so disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
When the apostle Paul was concerned with a physical ailment that plagued his life, he asked God many times to heal him and take away the weakness. Perhaps you can identify with Paul’s desire to be rid of a weakness, fear, ailment, or other issue. Hear what God said to Paul, and what He says to you and I when we struggle with our weakness, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul responds by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9). Not only did Paul decide to hope in God like David did, he goes a step further and builds his confidence in the fact that he is weak and God is strong! Talk about turning the tables on weakness!
The hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” is a marvelous declaration of God’s provision of hope amidst the clamor and fear of our world. Verse two says this:
“Fear not, I am with thee- O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, Will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand”
For this reason we can hope in God, fear can be put in its place and put to its proper use. Fear, loss, confusion and trial all have a place in bringing us to our knees so that we can finally look up to the God who loves us and seeks our benefit by providing himself as our hope.