How Not to Falter
Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey? So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart. But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” —Isaiah 42:24-25; 43:1
Does anyone keep their promises today? With marriages imploding and children left parentless, does anyone stand by their word for the long haul? Are commitments ever for keeps? What’s the key to perseverance? For followers of Jesus, the answer is clear. I will not falter: God is watching.
If you’re walking in God’s strength by faith and embracing His promises, you’re not going to falter. Isaiah 43:1 is one of the most treasured promises to God’s children in all of God’s Word: “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.’”
In order to make this promise our own, it is helpful to understand the setting. God’s people were being judged (Isaiah 42). They were wayward and rebellious, and God was done with their attitude. He was putting some heavy consequences on them.
Look at all of Isaiah 42 and you will see their failure and the resulting fallout (vv. 18, 22, 24-25). God admitted, through Isaiah, I piled all this on you and you’re still not getting it. Judgment is the background to the comfort that begins in the first verse of Isaiah 43. Knowing Israel’s situation and their desperation helps us recognize the priceless value of God’s promise. That same promise can keep us from faltering.
Redemption is one of the greatest doctrines in the Bible. We see its most glorious application on the cross of Jesus Christ. Before God interrupted your life, you were a slave to sin and had no way out. You owed a debt you could not pay—not even partially or over time. You were bankrupt; morally, ethically, and spiritually broke. But Christ showed up and redeemed you. He settled your debt. He paid the price so you could be set free.
Don’t be afraid, God says. You had the worst possible problem, which required the greatest imaginable sacrifice, and I took care of it. You think it’s all over because you’ve got some problems? I redeemed you just as surely as I redeemed Israel. I know you by name. You are mine. What will I not do for you now? Fear not!
Small problems seem big to us, but we’re not God. His is completely aware of all we face and every situation in which we find ourselves. As long as we trust Him, we don’t have to falter.
Lord, I know You are the redeeming God, but I admit that it’s easy to get caught up in the troubles of the day and forget that You have everything under control. I know You can turn the worst situations into events that bring You glory. Forgive my forgetfulness, Father. Thank You for redeeming me long before I was even here to need Your redemption. Thank You for the relief of knowing You never forget my name or me. Help me to trust You throughout this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.