What do you turn to for strength when times are hard? We know the church answer is God, but let’s take off the mask and be real with each other. I turn to food for comfort, books for wisdom and myself for strength far more often that I look to God. The Bible calls that Idolatry. Today you (and I) will see that to Be Still in hard times it is critical to Know that God is Your Strength.
We are looking 13 Promises of God to help us overcome fear and be still. Did you find this mid-series? We are in a 40-day Fast to learn how to be still and know God. Go back here and read the intro and keep up with series.
Isaiah 41:10-13 (NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
The Context of Isaiah 41:10-13
I switched translations for today’s devotional on How to Be Still. So sorry, but I learned this in the KJV and needed to get closer to it to keep my mind straight. #ChurchGirlProblems 😉
The Book of Isaiah is filled with prophecy. God is warning Israel and pleading with Israel to turn back to Him before it is too late. They do not and consequences follow because God is love but God is Just.
Things to know about the Context before we begin:
- We serve a Jealous God. He says Worship only Me and He really means that.
- Idolatry is defined as extreme admiration, love or reverence for something or someone.
- Israel worshiped literal idols and expected them to give strength, provision, and comfort
- We worship idols too (read more about that here).
- An Idol is anything you look to for strength, provision, comfort, and support.
- God is as serious about idolatry today as He was then.
God is convicting Israel about the Idolatry in their lives. He is also challenging their false God’s to step to Him. When none do, God comes back to reassure Israel that He is enough.
God is enough. Enough strength in hard times. God is always with you and you can count on His comfort and strength in every season of life. Click To Tweet
Observations from Isaiah 41:10-13
What do you turn to for strength when times are hard?
I asked earlier, but I really want you to pause and answer. Don’t worry, I can’t hear you. Let this answer be between you and God. Be real. Be vulnerable.
When times are hard I tend to turn to everything but God first. God is my last resort way too often.
- When the bills are due and the money is short I find things to sell or extra work before I offer up a prayer for strength.
- As we face conflict in marriage I turn to my friends (even Google) before I remember to be strong in the Lord through Prayer and study.
- When I feel hurt, lonely or frustrated I eat to feel comfort.
Can we look at What God Says about hard times? (emphasis mine)
God says, “Fear not, for I am with you (in hard times)”
“I am your God (don’t look to others in time of need)”
“Yes, I will help you (in overwhelming times)”
“I will hold you up with my righteous right hand (in difficult times)”
How do you stay strong in hard times?
Being strong is not about what you have in strength and courage. It is all about how strong God is. Listen, friend, God is strong! And God is for you, on your side! We don’t have to ask God be with you, He is with you! Trust Him in every season.
So How do you keep your faith strong in hard times?
We need patience in hard times because the answer God gives is not always our way or in our time. But He will answer!
If you look up bible verses about strength in hard times you will see that they bring that patience. God is so faithful to equip us with exactly what we need when we need it!
Do you see what the Bible says about strength and courage?
They come from God. Finding strength in difficult times is all about leaning into God instead of walking away from Him when difficult times come.
We can lean into bible verses for overwhelming times, for overwhelming the anxiety that comes when life is hard. I’ve pulled 40 of my Go-to Verses to overcome anxiety. They are yours Free below!
Application of Isaiah 41:10-13
This passage is so beautiful. It shows how Jealous God is. Scripted repeatedly compares God to the groom and the church to the bride. God’s Jealousy is like a husband requiring his wife to be a one-man-woman. We are to be a Church that looks to God alone as the source of our strength.Scripted repeatedly compares God to the groom and the church to the bride. God's Jealousy is like a husband requiring his wife to be a one-man-woman. We are to be a Church that looks to God alone as the source of our strength. Click To Tweet
I love that God know’s how hard this is for us. He isn’t beating us up over it, but reminding us, nudging us and calling us back to faithfulness.
Do you ever wonder How God helps us in difficult times?
I believe He allows difficult times to test our faith. Hard times work like a refiners fire to burn away all that is impure in us. I know this is controversial… but search google for Bible verse on God Testing us and you will see.
Does God test us?
Yes. We see so much testing of faith in the scriptures. God is continually putting us to a test to weed out our weaknesses and Idolatry. Revealing the truth we ignore in our own hearts.
Final Thoughts on Isaiah 41:10-13
Israel was in the midst of a Hard season of Testing from God. Captive to the pagan nation of Babylon Israel had to be very intentional not to fall into Idolatry.They had to look to God in time of need instead of following the example of the culture around them. So do we. Can you relate to how hard that is? Click To Tweet
God calls Israels Idols into question. Can they fight for Israel? Can they give Israel strength? The answer is no.
Has God shown you an Idol in your life?
My idols are food, entertainment, pride, self-reliance (just to name a few). God is in a season of stripping them away, showing me they can’t strengthen me, support me, provide for me or comfort me.It's hard to let go of Idols. But when you do, God steps in to give you strength, help and to hold you up with His righteous right hand. Click To Tweet
God is faithful to His promises, even when we are not. His right hand reminds us that He will be faithful, because He can’t fail, lie or change. Trust Him and experience that strong helping hand today!
A Prayer to Be still know that God is your strength in hard times
I confess my idolatry to You. I have looked to other things for strength and comfort and that is a sin. Forgive me, Lord. God, please help me through this pain. There are real things in my life that are just so hard and Lord I need You. I need You to be with me and remind me that You never leave me. Please strengthen me and help me and show me where You already are so I can praise You for it. Thank you for your right hand of righteousness that will be faithful to me no matter how many times I wonder. Forgive me for looking to other things for satisfaction. Keep me in Your Strong arms as these storms come. And I will give you the Praise and Glory, forever