According an article in Christianity Today, the most popular Bible verse of 2018 is Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God,” reads the year’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10. “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” That exhortation from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted more than any other passage by hundreds of millions of YouVersion users.
YouVersion is by far the most downloaded Bible app available, and so this is a good representation of what people are looking at in the Bible.
So it appears we are seeking the power of God to face our fears, and that’s a good thing. But what is it that we are so afraid of?
A few years ago I wrote about the now famous #DropTheBlanket moment in a Charlie Brown Christmas, and the thing went viral. Why? Because we live in a world of fear and uncertainty and people clearly relate to that.
Especially as we are celebrating #Advent, this is telling.
Now more than ever, we are daily surrounded with the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds. Social media and instant headlines only add to the fact that we have little certainty to lean on, little that we know for a fact will withstand whatever chaos the world throws at us next.
The way the world was for our grandparents is no longer the way the world is for us, and we are tasked with trying to figure out what normal should look like in the 21st century.
We go to sleep at night and wake in the morning only to have our smartphones telling us how horrible the world is.
It’s a 24/7 thing.
So it’s no wonder we are in a world filled with fear. I am encouraged, however, that people seem to be seeking God in facing fears. He alone can rescue us from living a life consumed with fear, and he alone can give us calm, peace, and stability in turbulent times.
I am reminded that in Christ, we have an answer to our fears; that he was born a poor child in a chaotic world, lived in a troubled land oppressed by a dictatorial regime, existed in a society that was overtaxed, overworked and longing for someone to make all things right, to make all things new.
Which reminds me that God gets it.
He came to us to redeem us, and he understands us and every deep longing of our hearts. He came for us once, and he is coming again.
He is the complete, ultimate, and only antidote to our fears, which means that we are not forgotten, and we are not alone.