“So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed O Israel,” declares the Lord. “I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no-one will make him afraid.” NIV
After a break of a few weeks, I’ve gone back to the “fear not” list in my King James concordance to look for synonyms for worry.
This verse, the next on the list, is part of a long passage God instructed Jeremiah to write down. The chapter is called “Restoration of Israel.”
This is a powerful promise. In this case, Israel’s exile was real, and God’s promise of eventual peace and security must have been a great comfort.
Often, worries put us in a kind of exile. That’s one of the reasons that it is such an effective tool to render us ineffective. If I allow myself to worry, I’ve found that it will not be about just one thing … I’ll worry about that one thing and then, my thoughts and my energy will be gradually absorbed by a series of “and what if” questions.
Last year, I did Beth Moore’s study on Esther. She taught a lot of amazing truths in that study, but the one that stands out for me is this: What IF is an acronym — What I Fear.
The truth is, there is no “what if” question that I cannot answer with “God will be there.” That has been a real help to me.
A few days ago, I read a post on if/then thinking (http://blog.behnke.us/2010/07/26/67/).
The author compared it to computer programming, which really hit home for me. That insight has been extremely helpful and has allowed me to keep this concept top of mind.
“If what, then God.”
If I can live my life with this lens firmly in place, I, too, will be saved from exile. And, I’ll have peace and security. I won’t be worried or afraid.
That’s what I’ll think about today.