The 20 Verses You Love Most

The 20 Verses You Love Most: #9 Comfort Food

The 20 Verses You Love Most | Liz Curtis Higgs

After a week of traveling, my daughter and I were ready for the plainest meal on the menu. No heavy sauces, no fancy side dishes, and definitely no fried foods.

The mixed grill turned out to be the ideal choice. Healthy portions of nothing but lean, boneless meat—steak, pork, lamb, and chicken—grilled to perfection. (If you’re a vegetarian, how about a plate of grilled eggplant, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini?)

This week’s verse is like that meal. Simple, straightforward nutrition that fills our hearts with everything we’re hungry for.

Comfort Food for the Soul

“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.” Isaiah 41:10

Grilled Vegetables

“So…” Isaiah 41:10

A small word that speaks volumes. It tells us, “Because that is true, then this is true.” In the previous verse God promises his people, “I have chosen you and have not rejected you” (Isaiah 41:9).

So, since we are loved by God and chosen by God, we can trust what he says next.

“…do not fear,…” Isaiah 41:10

Calming words, comforting words. “Don’t worry” (ERV), the Lord says. “Don’t panic” (MSG).

If I seem fairly confident to you, let me squash that misconception right now. I have a whole list of fears that I constantly battle. Tight, enclosed spaces can really undo me. Restrooms on airplanes? Crowded elevators? A subway car packed with commuters? Help.

In those unavoidable situations, I take long, deep breaths and cling to these words: “there is nothing to fear” (AMP). Nothing. Why?

Frightened Child, Comforting Father

“…for I am with you;…” Isaiah 41:10

That’s what gets me through. I find somewhere safe to look—a door, a window, a clock—something that reminds me this fearful situation isn’t forever, and I listen for God’s voice whispering, “I am here, with you” (VOICE).

He is with you, beloved. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, he is with you. On your side, by your side. What a balm to our anxious hearts, to know that we are never alone!

“…do not be dismayed,…” Isaiah 41:10

The Hebrew word, shaah, means “to gaze,” which is why some translations tell us “do not look around” (AMP) or “turn not aside” (DRA) or “bow thou not away” (WYC).

Alas, that’s exactly what we do when we’re afraid. We look in the wrong direction. We lose sight of who is in charge. We forget we have a God who cares. That’s why he gently urges us, ““Do not anxiously look about you” (NASB) and “let nothing terrify you!” (GNT).

Where we aim our gaze really matters. Are we looking for someone or something to rescue us? Or are we looking to our Savior, who has already done so?

Woman Looking Up

“…for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10

He is not only with us. He is also in charge of us. He is our Creator, our Redeemer, our King. When he asks, “Am I not thy God?” (KNOX), we have the chance to say again, “Yes, Lord. You are.”

Committing our lives to God isn’t a one-time event. It’s an on-going experience. Every time we see some variation of “I am your God” in Scripture, that’s our cue to embrace the truth and respond in kind, “I am your child.”

If your earthly parents dropped the ball, you can be very sure God did not, cannot, and will not. This is a Father you can trust completely.

“I will strengthen you and help you;…” Isaiah 41:10

Our culture encourages us to be self-sufficient. But Paul speaks the truth: “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Walking in faith doesn’t mean we never stumble. It means humbly accepting God’s help so we can stand.

I’ve heard people say, “Christianity is for the weak.” Exactly. Admitting our weakness is how we discover God’s strength. That’s why “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

His Right Hand, Holding Ours

“…I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

There it is: that mighty strength that will “retain you” (AMP), “support you” (CJB), and “hold you steady” (MSG).

Just like the soaring eagle we learned about in the #10 Verse You Love Most, this image lifts us high above the fears and concerns that try to drag us down.

God has you well in hand. He will ”keep a firm grip on you” (MSG), and not just with any hand, but with his right hand. What’s that all about?

It’s the hand of deliverance: “Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy” (Exodus 15:6). It’s the hand of blessing: “you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). And it’s the hand of power: “your hand is strong, your right hand exalted” (Psalm 89:13).

That’s the hand that is clasping yours. Not yanking you around, like an impatient babysitter, or squeezing too hard, like a bully at school. This is the hand of the One who cherishes you. His grip is firm yet loving. Always warm. And he never lets go.

And his words! “I am,” he says. Twice. “I will,” he says. Twice. Delicious and satisfying. Comfort food for the soul.

“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.” Isaiah 41:10

Bible Open to Isaiah 41:10

Now it’s your turn

Might you be willing to name one fear or weakness you have, then one of God’s endless strengths that assures you he can overcome it?

Just add your response under Post a Comment below. Bless you for taking time to encourage your sisters.

Next time we’ll hop back over to the New Testament and unpack #8 of the verses you love most. What fabulous choices you’ve made!

Your sister, Liz

P.S I’m still in Scotland and very grateful for your patience. Might I also ask for your prayers when I speak Tuesday evening in Edinburgh?

Your Sister in Christ, Liz Curtis Higgs

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