Life Without Fear

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“Yet you have forgotten the LORD, your Creator, the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors? Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies? Where is their fury and anger now? It is gone!”

Isaiah 51:13

Israel was a small nation, one that had been an easy target for larger empires seeking expansion. The Persians overthrew the northern kingdom in the eighth century BC. The Babylonians invaded the southern kingdom and decimated Jerusalem in the sixth century. Egyptian power continued to threaten Israel’s well-being. No wonder she “remained in constant dread of human oppressors.”

Yet the antidote to fear was on Israel’s doorstep, if she would but open the door. However big and powerful her human enemies might have been, God is bigger and more powerful. He is the Creator, “the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth.” Confidence in the face of human threats was available to Israel . . . if she would not forget the Lord. Oh, I suppose that, in principle, Israel remembered the God who had so often saved her. But when it came to daily living, when it came to how Israel felt in real time, she forgot the Lord.

And so do we, much of the time. When we read stories of economic collapse, when our loved ones struggle with seemingly insurmountable burdens, when we hear stories of terror plots, and when we face our own mortality, we can forget the Lord. We forget his faithfulness, his majesty, his power, his mercy. We forget that God is always with us and that nothing can separate us from his love.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When do you forget the Lord? And when you do, what happens? What helps you to remember God in times of distress?

PRAYER: O Lord, how many times have I forgotten you? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand? I shudder to think of the number. It’s not that I stop believing in you or that my theology disappears. But, practically, and especially in my emotions, I forget your presence in my life. Your faithfulness disappears from my consciousness for a while. And I feel afraid . . . afraid of where my life is heading, afraid of how my children will turn out, afraid of missing your blessing . . . you name it. (Indeed, Lord, you can name it!)

Forgive me, Lord, for living as if you weren’t there. Forgive me for the times when I forget you. Help me to live each moment of each day with the sense of your presence. May I claim your promises and stake my life upon them. Even as you never forget me, dear Lord, may I never forget you. Amen.