I have a maddening tendency to face new situations with anxiety rather than eager anticipation. My mind floods with “what ifs” that I have to wrestle to give to the Lord — not that I don’t want Him to have them; I do — but they want to keep coming back to me.
I don’t remember facing the new year with anxiety before, however. I’m not superstitious, but with this past year being relatively mild and knowing that every life will face it’s variety of trials, I have wondered with a little trepidation what this new year might hold.
I have been having devotions in the New American Standard Bible this past year. In my course of reading the Bible through, I am in Isaiah now. A few days ago I came to one of my all-time favorite verses, Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” The NASB rendered it thus:
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
“Do not anxiously look about you.” That was just what I needed.
God doesn’t always explain His actions or His reasons, but He promises His presence.
My weakness says, “I do want Your presence, Lord, but can’t I have it without painful or confusing or frustrating events?”
Yes — I do have His presence with me always. Yet there are many reasons He allows various trials to come. I know, from Scripture and from past experience, that He uses those trials for good, that something about them strengthens and deepens my relationship with Him and trust in Him, that there are things I learn and ways I grow that I would not have otherwise.
The last verse of the morning reading for the last day of the year in Daily Light is “Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” (I Samuel 7:12). He has helped all along: He will help in the future.
He will help me.
He will strengthen me.
He will be with me.
Do not be afraid.
He is enough.