Matters of Faith: He’s Still Here!

‬‬‬By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”


The name Isaiah means “Yahway is salvation.” His ministry followed a period of incredible prosperity and power for the kingdoms of both Israel and Judah. Israel had fallen morally, ethically, and were engaged in outward pagan worship. While Judah had a public conformity with God’s commandments, behind the scenes they also experienced serious spiritual and moral decline. Both had slipped morally and ethically. Isaiah’s purpose in writing was to share God’s displeasure, and to encourage them to again obey the ordinances of the Lord and avoid His wrath. You’ll find that this book is bubbling over with hope and promises of redemption and renewed prosperity if they would “wait on the Lord” (40:31). ‬‬‬

Chapter 41 finds Isaiah responding to Israel’s complaints about God’s lack of concern for them. He reassures them that He indeed is concerned, and has their wellbeing in mind. Isaiah tells them that not only was God concerned, He is also present. He tells them that is was His presence in their lives that drew people from the coastlands and the ends of the earth. These people were inspired to help them and to use their God-given gifts to bless each other as they would a brother (v. 6-7).

In verses 8-9, Isaiah speaks for the Lord and tells them that they are and will always be His chosen servants. He reminds them that they have not been cast away. The lyrics to a Luther Barnes song called, “It’s a Mighty Good Thing to be Chosen by God” says “It’s a mighty good thing to be chosen to serve. The job might seem hard, but you’ll get a special reward when your chosen by God.”

The Israelites were chosen and reassured that they should not fear. Even though they had fallen away spiritually, morally and ethically, their anxiety was unnecessary. God was with them.

Some might say that this promise of God’s presence does not apply to New Testament believers. They might say that this was a promise only to those from the tribes of Israel and Judah. To them I say, this promise is not only for the Jew, but for those who are New Testament believers also. To them I say read John 1:12 (NLT), “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God,” and Matthew 28:20 (NLT), “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

That New Testament prophecy referred to Jesus. Whatever you’re going through, no matter how alone and abandoned you might feel, He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). The same God who strengthened, helped and upheld the Israelites is the same God who is available and willing to strengthen, help and uphold you. “Fear not, for I am with you.”

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at www.BookBlues.com.

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