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Be Not Dismayed
Isaiah 41:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
History Behind this verse
The book of Isaiah is full of God's righteousness: both His warnings against those who sin and worship false gods and His hope for those who worship and follow Him as the ONE TRUE GOD.
Verse 10 contains promises given to God's children that HE will ultimately save those who turn to Him!! :)
The book of Isaiah was written by Isaiah himself. The name Isaiah means: "salvation of the Lord" or "the Lord is salvation." Isaiah was chosen by God to be a prophet. As a prophet, it was his role to be God's messenger.
God spoke warnings and promises to Isaiah and in turn, Isaiah delivered those messages to the Israelites. Just as Christians of today are God's children, the Israelites in Biblical times were God's children. Because we are still God's children, the warnings and promises given in the book of Isaiah are still very much relevant to us today. Like the Israelites, we will sometimes be fearful of our futures. We will be tempted to place our faith in our own hands or worse yet place our faith into the wrong hands. God wants us to place our faith and trust in HIM alone.
During the years that the book of Isaiah was written, the Israelites were living in exile in Babylon. God had allowed this exile of His people as a way to punish them for their sins and bring them back into fellowship with Him. The Israelites had brought their captivity in Babylon on themselves, and it was now time for God to save them. Everything that happened and was about to happen to the Israelites was in God's control. From the beginning of their existence, the Lord had established the Israelites as His chosen people. Because of this He would always protect them. As different kingdoms began threatening to overpower Babylon, the Israelites began to fear and doubt their safety. They did want to be freed from their bondage, but they were fearful about their future. They did not want to escape one bad situation only be placed in a worse situation. They feared falling into the control of a man named Cyrus. Cyrus was the king of the Medo-Persian empire and he was the one powerful enough to defeat the Babylonians. The problem was that Cyrus was not a nice man. God's children were worried that they would be freed from Babylon only to be taken into captivity by Cyrus. Because they were not fully trusting in the Lord, they were tempted to turn to idols for their salvation. Depending on the Lord and not on man-made idols was vital for God's children. God could save and restore them if they would trust in Him! The upcoming fall of Babylon to Cyrus would take place according to God's plan. God was going to use Cyrus as an instrument for His PLANS. God knew that Cyrus would restore the nation of Israel and that he would recommission the rebuilding of their temple. The Israelites had nothing to fear! God was and is ultimately in control of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE... even those people who do not call themselves HIS. All can be used by God in HIS ultimate plans and for HIS Glory! To reassure the Israelites, God sent one of His prophets to speak to them about their situation. The Lord needed His children to TRUST Him. He made a promise to their father, Abraham that they would become a great nation. God would fulfill that promise. He alone would protect them and ultimately save them from their enemies, but they must only worship Him. It was vital for them to turn to Him and not to turn to useless idols for their security. God needed them to realize that their idols could not protect them or save them. God was warning them not to rely on false gods or idols for their salvation. God alone can save!!!
Dismayed: Disheartened (made less hopeful or enthusiastic) ; deprived of courage; to feel as if you are broken down
Connection to Us
Unfortunately, most of us have or will experience a horrible life changing event sometime in our lifetime. Whether that be a financial hardship, loss of a loved one, problems with a relationship, or some other terrible thing, experiencing any one of these events has the potential to break us! If we allow the event to break us- we are essentially lying down in the pain and giving up. By doing this, the pain never eases and we never heal. Isaiah 41:10 is written specifically for times of uncertainty or tragedy. This verse is written to reassure us. We do not need to feel broken. We must understand that feeling "dismayed" in this verse does not mean the same as sadness. There is a difference between feeling sadness and feeling broken (dismayed). Feeling sadness can be a natural and healthy emotion, but feeling dismayed is not. When a person feels dismayed they feel as if they can't go on. They have no enthusiasm about their future and lack the courage to even try to move forward. God does not want this for us! HE IS OUR GOD! HE LOVES US! HE IS WITH US!!! We must not lie down in our sorrow or fear! We must TRUST God to help us through it... and we MUST KEEP MOVING!!!! :)