"Fear Not.."

There was once a little child who read the Bible for the first time and encountered Isaiah 41:10. The little child didn't understand the entire verse but remembered the words "Fear not, for I am with you." The little child knew for certain that God has spoken.

At the end of one school day, the little child waited as usual for its fetcher. One by one the other schoolchildren were fetched, but no one came for the little child. Then the little child remembered, "Fear not, for I am with you." Without any money, schoolbag in one hand, the little child started walking the long way home.

Years and a decade passed and the little child grew to be a fine person, unafraid of anything - not even death. But the little child, at some point, stopped reading the Bible and going to church. After college, the once little child, now a young adult, felt more reason to be unafraid - even of God.

Two more decades passed and the once little child found itself on the foot of a hill. It's a little over 5 in the morning and the lamp post gave off some light midway up the hill. The once little child started taking one step at a time, careful of the damp and slippery stepping stones. Little by little the light got dimmer and dimmer and the once little child stopped at one step when it noticed a frog. The once little child moved a little, careful not to startle the frog - lest it jumped on the once little child's face. The frog jumped to the side and the once little child proceeded to go up the already dark hill. The once little child remembered, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.." and.. "Fear not, for I am with you.."

Then one morning, the once little child listened randomly to a podcast by John Piper. The once little child wept while listening. The message was on Isaiah 41:10. In tears, the once little child realized God's faithfulness all throughout the three and a half decades of her existence. The once little child is today, actually, me.

My heart was deeply touched as I listened to John Piper share how personal the verse was to him. He said that if, perhaps on his death, someone pushed his scripture button, the verse that would play is Isaiah 41:10. The verse was given to him by his dad when he was in Munich, Germany on his first mission trip. He held on to the verse and is still holding to its promises today even when, in latter years, he went on to pass the same verse to his son.

I was reminded of how blessed I am to have a father who, one week prior his death, abandoned his fears, surrendered his life to Jesus and left me a heritage for my spiritual journey - a legacy of a life lived under the lordship of Christ. Though I didn't inherit my eternal salvation from my father's in-the-nick-of-time decision, I am blessed to have the assurance that I will see him in Heaven someday; I am blessed that, by the grace of God, just like John Piper, I also have the privilege of passing on a Godly heritage to my nephew and to my future children.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV84
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John Piper exhorted that whenever the Bible commands something, it gives certain reasons or pillars of promises. In Isaiah 41:10, he broke down the command to "Fear Not" into 2 subparts and 5 promises or pillars of fearlessness.

2 Commands
1. Fear Not
2. Do not be dismayed - do not anxiously look about you

5 Pillars of Fearlessness
1. I am with you
2. I am your God
3. I will help you
4. I will strengthen you
5. I will uphold you

At first I regretted that my courage perhaps would've been stronger, better, if it wasn't tainted by sin; if I feared God. If I feared God correctly enough to love Him, I would, perhaps, be in a much better position than where I am at today.

"God is stronger than your personality, past track record of timidity, and perceived identity as a nobody who could ever accomplish anything with courage for God!" said John Piper.

I imagined a 5-point star and placed a pillar of promise on each point. Whichever angle I turned, a promise was there. So though my heart grieved my past indiscretions, my sinfulness, my wrongly placed courage, I was reassured as I listened further to God's forceful encouragement thru John Piper: "You are called upon to obey not in your own strength but in the strength that God supplies so that in everything God may get the glory and He supplies the strength through pillars of promises!"

What fear is holding you back from accomplishing what God wants done in and through you? Claim the pillars of God's promises today!

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