Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD himself,
is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

There has been much written about fear during this season of pandemic, and I have really enjoyed and benefited from the devotionals written on the subject. Interestingly and not so coincidentally, fear has also been written much about in the Bible – maybe because human beings are human beings no matter what century they live in?

Isaiah writes about fear in a song he recorded in chapter twelve. Here, he is predicting everyone’s reaction when God ultimately does what He said He would do. In verse one, Isaiah says we will appreciate God’s forgiveness. In verse two, he says we will thank God that our fears never came to pass.

Here is the sense of verse two:

Surely God is my salvation! What is my greatest fear? Ultimately, when my plans fail, when everything else truly bottoms out, when there is nowhere else to turn, when my savings account is depleted, when my retirement plans have crashed, when my spouse leaves me, when my friends desert me, when I have nothing resourceful left inside of me, when I’ve lost my house, when I’ve filed for bankruptcy – I can count on God. He is my salvation.

Isaiah reminds me that God is here. He never left me. He forgives and comforts and holds me up. In God I trust. I will not put my hope in anything else. God’s full presence is here and my full attention is on HIm.

I will not be afraid. When fear arises, it is teaching me to wake up to the fact that I have taken my eyes off my true Salvation. This anxiety I feel is about some made-up future state and I am disconnected from the now-moment. A moment in which the Living God is present and is my salvation. My fear is a flashing light indicator on my soul’s dashboard exclaiming that something else has become my salvation, therefore I’m trying to control it. Fear tells me that I think I must be my own salvation.

But it turns out, God is the one who held me. He was responsible for my welfare the entire time. He was the one who made me prosper. He protected me from threats that I saw coming and threats I didn’t. Turns out that because of Him I made it. Yes, the great I AM is my strength. I can face another day, I can take another step, I can keep moving because YAHWEH is here. When my soul wants to sing, He is the cause.

Jim Martenson