partial verses

by Jen Manning
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Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, CEB)
How many people have read today’s verse in memes and on the little cards you can hang in your mirror from the Christian bookstore? Now, how many of you, like me, thought the whole verse was “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God“?
I thought I had memorized this verse for many months. There came a day when I wanted to reference this verse with someone who was battling anxiety. I looked it up it on YouVersion, and it had a lot more content and added context that amazed me. Wonderful, uplifting words were added just by reading the whole verse for the first time!
Now don’t get me wrong, that first sentence is powerful. How often do we think about a verse we have selected out of the Bible for our own agenda? Something that upholds our values and our truth? My point isn’t a dig, though.
My point is the next sentence of the verse. Our God goes on to say that He is going to be right there in the battle holding us up. We have His strength and help from which to draw. We are not alone. That’s why we should not fear or be dismayed. God has got us on His righteous hand.
It blows my mind and makes me want to dig a little deeper into the Bible. That “Bible mining” experience had a deep and lasting effect for me. What about you? Does it make you get excited, too? There’s so much to learn, but you don’t need to rush to the finish line. It’s not a competition to see who knows the most Bible verses. No, we have eternity with God.
One more thought: Did you attend Sunday school as a child? I did. This verse puts in perspective a common song. One lyric in particular sticks out, “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole wide world in His hands.” God has you right there, in His hands, so do not be afraid, and accept the help He wants to give!
Prayer: I come to you like a child this morning because I know as my Daddy, you’ve got me in your righteous right hand. You are my ever present help. You allow me to draw on your strength. May I never forget that You are my God, and I have nothing to fear in this world if I’m your child. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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