Isaiah 41:8-10 ESV
“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off’;
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.”
Back at the time this was written, God’s people Israel were the Jews. They were physical descendants of Abraham. They were God’s chosen people. But today God’s people Israel are believers in Jesus Christ, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For Jesus Christ, the promised seed of Abraham, our Messiah, died on a cross to free us from our slavery to sin so we would now be his servants.
[Galatians 3:16,26-29; Romans 9:4-8; Galatians 4:22-31; Ephesians 2:14-18; 1 John 2:22; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24]
Now we are not God’s chosen people by mere verbal profession of him as Savior, or by a verbal confession of him as Lord. We must die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, for this is the reason Jesus died on that cross. And we must continue in him in walks of surrender and obedience to our Lord and in dying with him daily to sin and to self. For Jesus freed us so that we would now walk (in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 8:1-14; Luke 9:23-26).
But if we have died with him to sin, and we are continuing to do so daily, and if we are walking in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, then we are the Lord’s servants. So, no matter what is going on in our lives or what trials we may be going through, our Lord has not cast us off, even if it may feel like that sometimes when our prayers don’t get answered the way we had hoped in the timing we had hoped for.
So, no matter what our circumstances are we must put our trust fully in the Lord and we must not fear, for our Lord is with those of us who are truly with him. And we are not to be dismayed over the enormity of what some trials become, either, for God is still God. He who made us is completely sovereign over our lives and our circumstances. And he will strengthen us, and he will help us, and he will uphold us. We just have to trust him!
For if we are not careful we can get all tangled up mentally in all the possibilities for how our situations could go, and we could spend hours upon hours fretting over all the “what ifs.” I know sometimes I am tempted to go that direction and I have to stop myself, and then I have to speak truth to myself, which is the word of God. And I have to declare to the enemy that I will not entertain his lies, and I have to get my focus set on the truth and remain there and keep resisting Satan so he will flee from me.
Isaiah 41:11-13 ESV
“Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.’”
Now our main (primary) enemy is Satan (the devil), and so we are to fight him with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Even if he is using other humans against us, which then makes them also our enemies, we are still to fight off the enemy of our souls with spiritual weapons of warfare, and never with physical weapons which may do other humans harm. For, we are to love our enemies and pray for them and do good to them and share with them what is beneficial for them spiritually (i.e. bless them).
If we are true servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so our lives are surrendered to him to do his will, we are going to have enemies. Some of them will be incensed against us and will strive against us and against what the Lord Jesus is doing in and through our lives for his glory. Some will literally break out in war against us, which could be both a physical and a spiritual battle. For Satan is behind these enemies, and he is out to destroy us any which way he can.
But, again, we are not to be afraid of any opposition that might come against us. For if we are on solid biblical ground spiritually, and we are truly following Jesus with our lives, our Lord is with us and he is holding our hands and he is directing us in the way that he has for us to go, which we must then follow. But this doesn’t mean that we won’t suffer or go through bad times. But it does mean that our Lord is with us and he is watching over us and our lives are in his capable hands, and he has a plan.
So, we must trust the Lord with our lives in all circumstances, and we must guard our hearts and minds against fears and doubts. And we must let the Lord lead us in the way that he would have us to go, and then we must follow him. For he has a plan and a purpose for it all which we may not yet see, so we must trust his plan. And then we must rest in him.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
I AM WILLING, LORD
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Sometimes when I am down,
And I don’t feel like You’re around, Oh Lord
Feeling so sorry for me,
Not knowing that all the while You’re working to see,
If when I’m put through the fire,
I’ll come out shining like gold,
Oh, Lord, please don’t ever stop working with me,
’til You see I can be all You want me to be.
Often when I ask why,
Teach me then on You to rely O Lord,
You surely know what is best
May I learn that in confidence and strength I can rest
Then, leaning fully on You, my questions fall one by one.
Oh, dear Lord, please don’t ever stop working with me
’til You see I can be all You want me to be
I am willing Lord, I am willing Lord,
To be just exactly what You want me to be
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