Good Enough For God
"Don't fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine." -Isaiah 43:1 

God gives us three very good reasons why we need not fear anything in this world or anything that is to come. If these three reasons are good enough for God then they ought to be good enough for me. 

"Don't fear for I have redeemed you."
Imagine that someone invites you to an expensive concert. You respond that you can't go because you can't afford the ticket. "Don't worry about it," they say, "It's on me, I've already bought the ticket." Now your fears about making ends meet for the month are over - your friend has generously paid for you to enjoy the evening without fear. in a way, that is exactly what our Father God is saying to us when He commands us to "fear not." What He is saying is, "There is no reason to fear what you are fearing because I have already taken care of your greatest needs! You are free! I've paid your debt! What else is there to fear?"

Our greatest fear in life ought to be that we don't measure up to God's standards. Every single one of us has sinned. I believe that sane people are painfully aware of their shortcomings. And these shortcomings cause much fear and trepidation in us. We might believe that if there is a God that we would never measure up to His standards. Or we might be afraid of what others think of us if they find out who we really are. Well, our Father in heaven knows exactly who you are and knows exactly who His Son Jesus is. If you are united to Christ, you have been redeemed, your sins have been paid for and therefore there is nothing to fear.

"Don't fear for you have a new name."
How people see us and how we see ourselves is often the source of our fear. We worry about our reputation and our character. How many times in this world have brands or businesses been bankrupted because of a bad reputation? I am sure you can think of one instance where you decided not to buy or consume a certain brand because of a bad story. Each of us, on our own have a name that only deserves the just punishment due to us for sin. But God has given us a new name - He has given us the name of His Son Jesus Christ. And that name is the name above every name!

When God redeemed us through the work of His son we became a part of His family. We are joint heirs to the inheritance of Jesus Christ Himself. We need not fear the opinions of man, the whispering accusations of the evil one, or any other earthly fear because we hold to the name of Jesus.

"Do not fear for you are mine."
Imagine that you are trying to get into an exclusive club. Everyone is dressed to kill. You can hear the music pounding, but you can't get past the big guards, the red rope or the steel door. All of the sudden a limo pulls up, cameras flash and you see the celebrity owner of the club. As they are walking in to the club they point you out and say, "Let this person in. They are with me." The guard lifts the rope, motions you in, and all of the sudden you are part of the famous entourage. Seems unlikely, right?

How much more unlikely is it that the God of the Universe would not only say, "She is with me" but also "I am with her and she is mine." How unlikely is it that God would say this to us who have no right on our own to be in His family? God calls us his own not because of what we have done, but because of His own good pleasure and will. And this is precisely the reason we do not need to fear.

Many people don't like the doctrines of grace because they think that it takes something away from our free will (another blog, another sermon, another time). But I thank God that my belonging to His family is only based on God's good pleasure and will and not my free will. I flip flop on a minute by minute basis - but God is steady from eternity past until eternity future. And His eternal Word says, "You are mine."

What wonderful news for each of us. God loves His children and cares for His children. No one loves a child like a child's parent. Other kids are nice and all, but there is a special kind of attachment and deep jealousy for our own children. This line in this verse is easy to understand if you are a parent or if you have a healthy relationship with your parent. God is jealous for us in a much deeper way than any parent is jealous for their children.

If my redemption, new name and belonging depend on me then I have every reason to fear. But that is not what God says. God says , "Don't fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine."  We have no reason to fear when our faith is in Jesus because everything depends on God who keeps His word. We are His. End of story. 

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