The current world circumstances are testing, strengthening, and proving our faith. There are so many things and people that can cause us to fear. Will we give in to fear or will we choose to trust in God?
The following devotional is adapted from God’s “Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotionals Revealing God’s Nature,” the new devotional book by Larry and Kathy Collard Miller. In this 40-day devotional, the Millers share insights from 40 questions God asked in the Old Testament. This excerpt reflects on God’s question in Isaiah 51:12: “Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies?”
Do you ever feel as though someone else has the power to destroy or harm you in some way? It might be physical harm. But more likely it’s emotional harm. The way another person treats us may cause us to feel worthless or unvalued. Their words may make us feel stupid or wrong. Their opinion of us may threaten to harm our reputation.
The temptation to fear other people’s impact on our lives is as old as creation. God addressed this fear in Israel in the book of Isaiah.
“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? 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 51:12-13, NLT)
Choose God’s Truth Over Other’s Opinions
The truth is, another’s view of us does NOT determine who we are. Their opinion does NOT establish our value. Human “oppressors” only have the power we give them. When we work to please others or focus on their opinions, we give them power over us. We turn away from the truth that God loves us unconditionally. Even when we make a mistake. God’s consistent love is comforting assurance for our lives! (See “I Choose to Trust God Over My Emotions.”)
How did you feel the last time someone spread gossip or lies about you? In distress, perhaps you forgot the truth that God values and loves you. That you matter to Him. Why do we allow the words of a “mere human” to overshadow God’s truth? People – and their opinions – will wither tomorrow like grass. But God, who makes the grass, is eternal.
Instead of fearing man, let us trust in God. Let us depend on His comfort. Let us receive His assurance that our worth is based in who we are in Christ. We are His chosen, adopted child. No mere human can touch that blessed truth. We are loved and valued and held by God. For Him and for His glory.
Even when man seeks to harm us, no matter how things look in the short term, God’s purposes and plans will prevail. His comfort and love for us never changes.
Are you aware of any people-pleasing tendencies in your life? If so, what attribute of God do you think could help you?