“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ ” Isaiah 41:10, 13.
Recently, I came down with double pneumonia complicated by the discovery of previously unknown heart trouble. The combination brought me close to death before God’s grace working through the skill of the doctors defeated the pneumonia. I am recovering nicely from the effects of the pneumonia but still face bypass surgery. During the worst of it I was put asleep and do not remember anything. After they woke me up, I started to experience some dark, depressive thoughts, especially at night. It was a combination of the near death experience I had been through, the unexpected heart problems I faced, and being in the hospital so long (almost a month). I had thoughts of death and the grave and an unexplained fear of the future. It was most certainly spiritual warfare with oppressive, depressive thoughts meant to discourage me and doubt God’s love. I found that reading the Word of God always dispelled these dark thoughts. Darkness cannot be present with light.
In particular, God gave me the verse above from Isaiah to dispel my fear and assure me of His tender loving care. The “Believer’s Bible Commentary” notes that this verse assures us of “His presence, His relationship, His help, and His sustaining power”. What a blessing this verse was to me. We are not to be dismayed in times of trouble because God is always right by a Believer’s side to help and sustain them. He holds us by our right hand to steady us! He whispers to us in times of trouble to fear not as He is there to help us and see us through.
The dark thoughts have mostly passed at this point and I have grown in my faith from my experience. I know whatever I may have to go through in the uncertain future God will be there holding my hand. Even at my death, He will guide me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and I will fear no evil because he will be right there to comfort me (Psalm 23:4).