“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT
God is obviously speaking to people in trouble. Fear and dismay are not fun things. We all understand the concept of fear, but dismay is an interesting word. It means to gaze around. There are two things associated with it in the Hebrew: 1. To look at the circumstance and 2. To look for help.
This brings to mind Peter’s walk on the water and how he was doing great until “he saw the winds and the waves….” Too often we focus on the problem. I love the scripture, “Come magnify the Lord with me.” To MAGNIFY something means to make it LARGER. In modern terms, we look at the object through a lens of some sort to see the beauty and detail of an object. The same is true of God.
What you focus on becomes larger and sharper and clearer the more you stare at it. What are you looking at today? What are you magnifying today? Problems! Needs? Or God?
Fear robs us of strength; therefore, God promises to strengthen us. He didn’t just say he would take the problem away (initially). Dismay causes us to be unstable; this is why God said he would uphold or stabilize us. Pull out the magnifying glass of God’s Word and let his Majesty fill your vision. The problems will be harder to see.
Father, today I choose to look at you instead of my problems. Today I choose to worship rather than complain. Today I choose to magnify you instead of all the stuff going on. I want to be changed. Today I want to see you. Today I choose peace. AMEN!