Right now, the world is heading into great turbulence. There will be events and chaos that naturally bring fear. But God has said to us, “My Word is in you. You are covered under the shadow of My hand. And YOU ARE MY CHILD.” It is time for us to fasten our seatbelt, open our Bible and talk to our Father through it all. He has said we are not going down: “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved” (Acts 2:25).
I urge you to make this powerful word from Isaiah your own:
“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
“Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:26–31).
Our communion with Him gives birth to trust. By pouring out to the Lord our needs, our worries, we come away with His rest and assurance. “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).
It is possible for us to stir and rouse ourselves, so that we ask, “Why am I so fearful? Why am I on this roller coaster of up-and-down despair? Why does the future cause panic in my soul?”
This has happened because we have not fully committed our lives, our families, our health, our jobs, our homes into God’s faithful hands. We have not made the leap of faith that determines, “My Lord is true and faithful. Though I have failed countless times, He has never failed me. Come what may, I will cast my life and future into His care.”
How are we able to do this? By embracing this word He has given us: “Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again” (Isaiah 51:22). He is saying, in essence, “I am not asleep. I am the same God who opened the Red Sea, who raises the dead, and who has made provision for you. My people are not meant to live in bondage to fear.”
The cup of trembling is removed when we wake up to our need to accept God’s Word. As we take this stand of faith, we will face sudden jolts of fear. But we are to stand up to those fears—to lay hold of God’s promises and be fully persuaded that He is able to keep what we have committed to Him. Then we will drink no more of the wine of despair.
The fact is, the darker the days become, the more God’s people must live by such faith. Otherwise, we make God out to be a liar whenever we panic and fear. As once reported in a story in Newsweek, a teenage girl demonstrated such faith powerfully. A plane flying from Newark to Paris flew into heavy turbulence, and the passengers became panic-stricken and began screaming. Amidst it all, the sixteen-year-old girl sat buckled in her seat, quietly reading her Bible. Later, when she was asked why she wasn’t afraid when everyone around her was trembling in fear, she replied, “My Bible promised me that God would take care of me. So I just prayed and trusted.”
I hear from many believers who have drunk of the cup of despair. They have faced so many traumas and endured so many crises they are now exhausted. They are so weighed down that they think one more worry, one more fear, will crush them beyond hope. They have come to a breaking point, the very end of themselves.
What does God say to such a fearful people who tremble with anxiety? What is His prescription for those whose hearts are failing with fear, whose eyes are fixed on the calamitous things coming upon them? He gives them this word: “Awake! Stand up!” (see Isaiah 51:17). Here is the condition that God puts on us so that He may remove the cup of trembling from our lips: “Get up! Take a stand!”
Beloved, with everything that is coming—with evil men growing more vile and wicked, with economic crises continuing to mount—God’s people need more than uplifting messages. They need more than sermons that pump up a short-lived faith. A man wrote to me, “Your recent messages seem repetitious. They are one message after another trying to encourage despairing believers. It sounds like few know how to lay hold of a faith that doesn’t have to be constantly pumped up. Do they not know their Bible?”
This was God’s very concern about Israel. What was the Lord’s answer to their accusation? He told them, “Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass” (Isaiah 51:12). In other words: “I have put My words in your mouth. I have covered you with My hand. I have pledged that you are My people. But still you won’t be persuaded that I will be faithful to perform the Word I have spoken to you. You still fear men who will fade like the grass.”
Paul preached, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). All believers are given a portion or degree of faith. And that portion must be built up into an unshakable, unwavering faith. How does this happen? As faith grows, it is strengthened in one way only: by hearing and trusting in God’s Word.
The Lord never intended for His people to live in panic or trembling in fear. Even in the Old Testament, the Lord had a people who trusted in His promises and were unmoved by the chaos all around them. We see this in the life of the prophet Habakkuk, a man given a vision of “the end” (Habakkuk 2:3).
Habakkuk saw a people in the last days who would wear themselves out pursuing greed and covetousness. According to his vision, a dreadful spirit of violence would prevail in that time (see 1:9). Habakkuk said of it all: “The cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory” (2:16).
We know that a prophet always speaks to his own generation first. Yet, according to Habakkuk himself, this prophetic word is also meant for our generation. He tells us, “The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie” (2:3, my italics). Habakkuk was seeing a cup of trembling: “When I heard, my belly trembled . . . I trembled in myself” (3:16).
Here was a godly, praying prophet who for a season was so overwhelmed by awful events that even he trembled. But the Spirit came upon Habakkuk, causing him to prophesy: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (3:17–19).
God removed the cup of trembling from His servant Habakkuk. And He will do likewise with all His faithful ones today.
“Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—cried out, shouting, ‘Go away! Why are you interfering?’” (Luke 4:33-34, NLT).
I love this word—interfere—that appears in this translation.
You might want to underline that in your Bible if you have a translation that uses the word “interfere” or, if not, write it down in your notes. The God who interferes—who looks at your crisis, your need—and instead of standing on the sidelines worrying and anxious, He interferes in the problems you have in your life.
Jesus interferes with the satanic plans that are formed against you. If it weren’t for the interference of Jesus, Satan would have free access to you. The power of sin and sickness and tribulation would have such freedom in your life that you’d not be able to stand. But Jesus loves you, Jesus cares for you, and when Satan comes with his intended plans to throw you off, He interferes.
“No,” He says. “No, this is not going to happen! I’m going to cause this brother, this sister to stand.”
When you are afraid, when you feel like you are going to fail, when the intentions of the evil one are coming at you from all around, be assured that Jesus will interfere. He’s going to bring things to an end.
Jesus interfered with this demonic man, and there’s so much that He wants to interfere with in your life. Maybe you’re walking in willful disobedience and rebellion to God. His grace is going to interfere and call you back. Maybe you’ve become lukewarm and you have a half-hearted faith. Jesus wants to interfere with that and draw you back. Maybe your concern is a family member and you feel that it’s hopeless; you don’t see any way possible for breakthrough. Jesus interferes in all these things.
So Satan is coming at you—just like we read about Jesus at the side of the cliff, intending to throw Him off. There’s an intended plan by Satan against your life and Jesus comes and interferes with it. You can say, “Praise God” to that if you want, because that’s extremely good news.