Do not be dismayed

Published 9:52 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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The word dismayed is not often in our vocabulary these days. However, we do find ourselves dismayed often. The word dismayed means to deprive of that strength or firmness of mind which constitutes courage; to discourage; to dishearten; to sink or depress the spirits or resolution; hence, to affright or terrify. The Hebrew word rendered “dismay” in the Bible actually means “to look around in fear.” Now that you know the definition, do you find yourself being dismayed by the things you see and hear every day? It is easy in the days we are currently living to become dismayed quickly. Let’s see what the Lord says in Isaiah 41:10, “10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

This verse tells us a lot of reasons why we shouldn’t be dismayed. He is with us. He’s our God. He will strengthen us. He will help us. He will uphold us with his righteous right hand. God is extremely clear that we are NOT to be dismayed no matter the circumstance. Our Father is faithful and He will provide for us! The world needs to see confident Christians that are trusting in a faithful Father. However, they often see a group of complainers who are fearful, stressed, and worried about everything. How will sinners ever come to know the power of our God when all they see are dismayed Christians? They need to see that our God is able and faithful. If we would lift Him up in honor and praise, He would draw all men unto Him.

Let me give you an example. If my son called me for help, and I answered and told him that I would be there to assist him, and then once we hung up, he laid on the ground crying and fretting, it would sure seem that he did not have much confidence in me as a dad. If any of his friends were watching this situation, they would determine that I was not much of a dad based on my son’s actions. I am afraid that the world sees Christians being fearful, worried, complaining, and filled with anxiety. Why would anyone want to be a child of our Father if that is what they see from us? Jesus said in Matthew 7:9-11, “9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” When we ask, we need to believe that God will, stop the doubt and dismay, be patient, and allow God to work.

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God has directly commanded us not to be dismayed. The word is used approximately 50 times in the Hebrew Old Testament and occurs for the first time in Deuteronomy 1:21 as Moses challenged Israel: “Do not fear or be dismayed.. We must take heed to His word and trust He is working all things out for our good. He does have a plan for each of us. When I was a child, a local factory in my hometown was closing. The local news was interviewing individuals who were losing their job. It was obviously all doom and gloom. Folks said they did not know how they would survive. They were all dismayed at the news that they would no longer be employed.  Finally, they interview a single mother raising three kids alone. She said this, “I am not worried because I have a heavenly Father that promises that He will provide for me and my children. He has not failed me yet, and He won’t fail me now. I am not sure of the plan, but I know He has one. I plan to trust the Lord.” My, what an answer! I could feel the Spirit of God in all she said! This is our God! He will always take care of each of us, and no matter what is going on around us, we do NOT need to be dismayed!

(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton.)