Tag Archives: isaiah 41

Close Embrace

I was sleeping so well. All of the sudden my eyes were wide open. It was National Dog Day. But that wasn’t why Max woke me up. A storm with lightning and thunder was in our midst. Max was having an anxiety attack. My overweight dog was in big baby mode. I called him onto my bed and held him in a close embrace to calm him down. He has a special storm jacket or thunder jacket. I call it a storm trooper jacket because it’s the only way he is a good trooper through storms.

As I lay unable to sleep with my panicked canine, I considered the close embrace of our heavenly Father. When we embrace someone closely, eventually we let go. We start to feel hot. We want to change our position. We cannot spend all day in one place. We have things to do. Sometimes it is a challenge embracing anyone at all. But with God, it’s different. The embrace is never-ending. Forever, we are in safety with the close embrace of God.

God “takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV). The psalmist said that God covers us with His feathers, that under His wings we find refuge (Psalm 91:4). Today, consider the close embrace of God. Nothing can snatch you from His hand (John 10:28). Settle close to Him for refuge. Enjoy His presence. Appreciate the close embrace.

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Right Hand

The Bible often talks about the right hand of God, and yet we don’t read much about His left hand. Many may question this lack of left-handed mentions. It is important to recognize that the right hand was considered the strong hand. It represented strength as we see in Isaiah 41:10, my life verse. But there is something else about the right hand.

The right hand, the place to the right of a person, is a place of honor. The New Living Translation translates the verse from 1 Peter as “the place of honor next to God.” This is the place that people wanted to be. Remember James and John’s mother wanting one of her children sitting in that privileged spot. Consider Who is at the right hand of God. Remember, as Stephen looked up before he was stoned to death, he saw Jesus at the right hand of God. To Him be all the honor, glory, and praise. He gets the highest honor. He is the highest, above all!

Today, as you read your Bible and reflect on His Word, look at where you find His right hand referenced in the Bible. Cling to those promises. Cling to Him Who has made those promises. Remember it is His right hand that upholds you.

“A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” – Psalm 110:1 [ESV]

“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” – Psalm 63:8 [NASB]

“Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.” – 1 Peter 3:22 [NLT]

The Lost Key

This morning was like any other weekday morning, but as I entered my van I noticed that I was missing my necklace. The Giving Key necklace that I had for a few months was missing. I had it engraved specially with “Jesus.” I found myself often using the necklace to share about Jesus. I never got a chance to give it to another person which is the company concept. I figured the necklace was laying somewhere and God would make sure the one who needed it would find it.

Later in the day, I reached into my purse to put my cell phone inside so I could go run some work errands and grab lunch. When I reached inside, I found the “Jesus” key. It was laying inside my purse, tucked safely inside without the necklace. I was amazed. The necklace must have broken and the key fell inside. Here I thought it was lost but it was with me the entire time just like He is with me all the time.

What a great reminder of Who is with us always! We can trust that He is always with us, every moment of every day. We are not alone. We are never abandoned. He is faithful!

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 [ESV]

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 [NASB]

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Fear Freeze

I was walking Max the other morning. He is quite the rabbit chaser. The second he notices a rabbit, he wants to go hunt it down. However this morning was different. The rabbit stood still. The rabbit never had to run for cover. There was a big dog in the yard ahead that caught Max’s attention. He became fearful and that fear caused him to focus on the fear and miss out on his “fun.”

Fear can cause us to not take chances. Fear can cause us to act differently. Fear can cause us to cower down. Fear can cause us to second guess ourselves. Fear can cause us to not reach our full potential. Fear can cause us to miss opportunities.

For many years of my life, I was very fearful. I let fear rule different areas of my life and it caused me to be enslaved by fear. It also caused me to miss out on a lot of opportunities. God has a lot for you. Yes, YOU! There’s work to be done. There’s doors to be taken. There’s a need to stand firm. There’s a reason to speak up. Do not let fear rule you. Remember what God promises. Remember Who your God is and remember He is a big God, a faithful God, and that you have no reason to fear.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 [ESV]

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As Empty as Wind

We read in Isaiah that the idols are “empty as the wind.” When we think of wind, you don’t see anything there. It’s this movement of air. You can’t see it. The only reason you can tell the air is moving is because you see trees dancing in the wind or lightweight objects like leaves are carried by the strength of the wind. Or perhaps you feel the air blowing on your skin or through your hair.

The Bible says that idols are “foolish, worthless things.” When we think of idols, we often think of the man-made items that the people in biblical times worshiped. We read about different gods they worshiped that were made of wood or other materials and looked like an animal. But man-made idols can be anything that takes the place of God.

Ecclesiastes speaks of chasing the wind. Solomon writes of everything being meaningless. But what does that mean? Is everything meaningless? Is life meaningless? Not at all. Solomon understood that meaning could only be found in God.  The idols we have on this earth—for some people it is money, a career, family, a particular person, gambling, etc—are all foolish, worthless things that cannot do a thing for us. With Jesus Christ we find meaning. There is no emptiness; there is only fullness. He satisfies completely. He makes whole. He completes.

“See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind.” – Isaiah 41:29 [NLT]

 

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I Have Chosen You

I remember the school days when it was time to line up and select teams for various sports. There were some sports that I was selected as one of the first picks and others when I was standing on the line awaiting the selection till the very end. As children we chose our friends and we chose those we thought would help us to win. That was how it went. I don’t think this ever ends because as adults in the workforce, we chose people who will help us succeed and sometimes we pick our friends.

With God, we are chosen simply because He created us and He loves us. Today’s verse states “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” To God, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t the “best player” for the team. He is not necessarily looking for the person who can recite the most Scripture or the one who has the least blemishes on his record. It is He alone who qualifies us for the team. He also doesn’t have favorites. Each of us is His favorite. He loves each of us like an only child.

The bottom line is He chose you and He’s not going to toss you away. Like Abraham, He calls you “friend.” When you believe in Christ, you are called a “child of God.” Child. Friend. Chosen. Loved. It always felt good to be picked for the team, whether it was for recess or gym class or even today in the workforce. How great is it to be chosen for God’s team? How great it is to be called a child of God? To be called friend?

“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” – Isaiah 41:9 [NLT]

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A Running Bird

Did you ever ask yourself why a bird runs when it could fly?

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10 [ESV]