It is doubtful that there has ever been a generation as frightened as ours about the unfathomable present and unknown future. Many of our fears, which prevent our happiness and lower our efficiency, can be traced to self interest. There has never been a time when God's children needed the encouragement, support and comfort of the words, "Fear thou not," as found in Isaiah 41:10, more than we need today. If we will only appropriate these challenging words, we will be sheltered beneath God's wings, protected by His omnipotent and, provided for by His immeasurable and unfailing love.

This same scripture provides fivefold promises of God's protection:

1. "I am with thee." Theses encouraging words derive their value from the one who spoke them. He has never made a promise that has not been or will not be fulfilled. His presence cheers and inspires us with fearlessness. Our circumstances and surroundings may seem dark and discouraging, but we shall be safe just knowing that He is with us. He is fully able to cope with any situation, regardless of how serious it may be. His presence is sufficient for any emergency and provides assurances to us through all of our struggles, afflictions, and trials. It's just good to know that God is with His children in the midst of their enterprises, unusual responsibilities, and strenuous labors, imparting to them a joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding.

2. "Be not dismayed; for I am thy God." No matter what messages our surroundings are communicating to us, we should not be discouraged or dismayed, for "what-e'er betide, God will take care of you." The fact that He is our God implies the infinitude of His mercy. God takes special care of His own and fulfills His promise as stated in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

3. "I will strengthen thee." All who truly believe in Christ Jesus can certainly have a right to claim this glorious promise. It is encouraging to know that we shall never be in a position where God, who is adequate for all circumstances and emergencies, cannot strengthen us. He will always be with His own in sustaining power. He will infuse strength into our fearful hearts and invigorate our spirits. When we are confronted with some gigantic task or with some duty that seems to appall us, it is strengthening to know that there is not anything too hard for God. No matter how seemingly impossible the task, nor how heavy the load, His resources will be sufficient. In our weakness we need the strength that He promises and He alone can impart.

4. "Yea, I will help thee." God's promise that He will help us suggests that we have something to do and that He will help us to do it. It speaks of cooperation of a glorious task. It implies that as we go down life's pathway we will have burdens to bear that will be too heavy for us. We will need help from God when we are taxed beyond our ability, physically, mentally and spiritually. God is both willing and able to give us all of the help that we need when and as as the needs arisie. He may not help us just at the time and in the manner that we desire, because our way may not be the best. His way of helping us will be the best.

5. "Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." The grasp of the hand signifies present and close friendship. The right hand is an emblem of power, and in this promise it signifies omnipotent power. His faithful and victorious right hand can be relied upon to support all who places their trust in Him. He will never fail to uphold His own, and His strength is sufficient for all our needs. The assurance of His presence and power is the source of a courage that danger cannot dispel, suffering cannot exhaust, and death cannot destroy.

One wonders if there is any encouragement to surpass that which is contained in these great and glorious promises of God to His people who appropriate and apply them. Elder Al Ware