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Courage and God's Presence...

    B"H  Kislev 5773

Called by Name...

Courage and the Divine Presence

by John J. Parsons

Isa. 43:1b

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine." – Isaiah 43:1

THE SPIRIT SPEAKS TO THE HEART of faith: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine." God has personally redeemed you, friend; He calls you by name, and you belong to Him. The Lord loves you with an everlasting love and draws you close (Jer. 31:3). He will never leave nor forsake you, even if you might face waters that seem to overwhelm or fires that seem to devour (Isa. 43:2). The will of your Heavenly Father will never lead you to a place where his love will not there sustain you.

Worry is a place of exile and pain. We are commanded, al tirah, "fear not," because fear was behind the original sin in the garden, just as mistrust lies behind our own hiding and self-imposed exile from God... Since sin expresses a heart of fear (Rom. 14:23), the way of healing is to courageously turn back to God, despite our shameful past. We can trust God's love for us because of the cross of Yeshua our Lord. If we haven't received God's love and acceptance, we are still enslaved to fear and abide in a state of exile. The love of God casts out our fear because it casts out all our sins (1 John 4:18).

It is written, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a "sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7). The Greek word for "sound mind" means made "safe" because of the restraining influence of the Spirit of God... If you sense fearful oppression within your heart, turn to the Lord and offer him focused praise. Lift up your soul to him and thank him for your trouble. This has the double benefit of confessing your trust in God's care, as well as vexing the enemy of your soul. Come boldly to the throne of grace to find your help (Heb. 4:16); cast all your anxiety on him, for he cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7).

The Name of the LORD (יהוה) means "Presence" and "Love" (Exod. 3:14; 34:6-7). Yeshua said, "I go to prepare a place for you," which means that his presence and love are waiting for you in whatever lies ahead (Rom. 8:35-39). To worry is to "practice the absence" of God instead of to practice His Presence... Trust the word of the Holy Spirit: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for healing peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).

Take comfort that your Heavenly Father sees when the sparrow falls; he arrays the flower in its hidden valley; and he calls each star by name. More importantly, the Lord sees you and understands your struggle with fear... Come to him with your needy heart and trust him to deliver you from the burdens of your soul (Matt. 11:28).

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew-English transliteration

al-tira ki ge'altikha karati veshimkha li-atah

"I need Thee every hour..." More than anything else, God's love is what we desperately need, isn't it?  Especially in moments when we feel wounded, alone, unworthy, afraid, and needy; and even when we succumb to the depths of despair... God's love descends to the depths of our soul to hear our cries. Praise the Name of Love - despite everything, God saves us from ourselves, from our worst fears, and from the hell of shame and abandonment.

Do not be paralyzed with shame over your sins, but rather fight ceaselessly, bravely, and without hesitation, because the Kingdom of Heaven will indeed come. Focus on the meaning of your redemption: the cross of Messiah; understand your sin only in light of Yeshua and his glory. "False shame is the devil's favorite emotion; it is even worse than false pride. Pride can support evil, but false shame stops goodness" (John Ruskin). The best teshuvah (repentance) is to get up and act for righteousness, now, in this moment, and leave the mending of your past to God's love and care..

"Blessed is God who gives us the victory [over the devices of satan] through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah" (1 Cor. 15:57). When you are feeling downcast, look up and offer praise to God who heals you!

Fear no evil because God is with you, even in the darkness (Psalm 23:4). As it is written: "Surely goodness and love shall follow you all the days of your life, and you shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalm 23:6).

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