#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
When I went to Bible college, my theology teacher taught us how to break down a verse word by word and get the full meaning of it. One time he spent an entire sermon in my church preaching just on two or three words in a verse. I’m no comparison to him, but I do find that I can meditate more on the Word when I take a closer look at the words. Let’s begin…
Do not be afraid: To not fear something is to have complete confidence that you will stay safe. There is nothing that can get you. A danger-free zone.
You worm Jacob, little Israel: When I read this phrase, I was blown away. What? God is calling his own, his chosen people, a worm?! A worm is a squirmy gross thing that gets squished or eaten by birds. Why would God call his people that? Then I remembered: I am tiny and insignificant in this world; indeed, in this universe. I love seeing images of the universe shrunk down and seeing I am smaller than a speck of dust in this universe.
Do not fear: But no matter how small I am, I do not have reason to be afraid. God, my Father, sees all. He sees me.
I myself: God, the Father of all. He speaks directly to me in this verse.
Will help you: He isn’t here to condemn and curse. When we put our trust in him, i.e. Not fear, he helps us in whatever we are facing.
Declares the Lord: The Lord, the Creator and Ruler over all declared this. His word was powerful enough to create the universe at the beginning of time, indeed, powerful enough to create time. We can trust that what he says will come to pass. He will help me.
Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: A redeemer is one who takes a captive and sets them free. Our redeemer is Holy. I can trust him because he cannot sin. He is perfect and holy. He will never let me down.
From this verse, I get a great challenge. First, I realise how I really am small. Then I get great encouragement. No matter how small I am, God will keep me safe. He will help me and redeem me from whatever challenge I face. Not because of who I am or what I can do, but because of His power and his perfect promise. My only role in all of this is to trust him, which means, surrendering my fear. I trust that he is in control, and I do not have to worry.
I have a strong, choleric, personality. My dad was strict when I was growing up and I always feared I’d do something wrong. As a result, I didn’t have much confidence to make my own decisions or do something too outrageous, I was seen as the timid child. It wasn’t until recently that I realised that when I’m given the power, I can be controlling and strong-willed, just like my dad. This isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just part of this temperament that needs to be monitored and used with humility. One thing that comes from a need to be in control of everything, is it is so much work and stress. It means, if something goes wrong, you’re the one responsible for it. As the verse says, I am small, a little worm. I cannot control the sun rising or setting. Only God can do that. Better to let go of control, trust in Jesus completely, and I don’t need to fear what might go wrong. I know God’s ways are holy and his plan is perfect.
She is the second child in a blended family of 11 children. You’d think that many kids would make her shy away from any more children, but she loves children’s ministry. She has assisted in children’s church since she was 15 years old and even at 13 assisted in a crèche of a small church she was attending at the time. Her latest endeavour for children’s ministry is being full-time missionary since mid 2014 with Bali Life Foundation (www.balilife.org) and helping disadvantaged women and children – many who have backgrounds begging on the streets – gain work and education through our Street Kids’ Centre.