Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Will Uphold Us!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

112015 Ray McDonaldI love playing basketball (I only wish my 61-year-old knees could still hold up – but the three ball still shows up from time to time). Growing up – basketball was a game I could play by myself – for hours at a time. I still remember – behind the parsonage at Seat Pleasant UMC (now Gethsemane UMC) – the hoop we had up above the garage door. There was a flood light out back and I would play for hours on end – deep into the summer night.

I remember – I was either Earl The Pearl Monroe or I was playing along side him. Wes Unseld was playing too – in my fantasy world – and many others. They would be counting on me to make that last bucket either as The Pearl or as me (I told you it was fantasy time). They would be relying on me to make that great pass – if not the last shot – to uphold them and the team.

In modern times – I was Stephen Curry – I couldn’t miss. Even when I did miss – I would grab the rebound in a crowd and put it back up for the winning points – just a split second before the buzzer would sound. Time and again – the winning basket! In my make-believe world – I was all that and a bag of chips!

BASKSTK 16-2For Steph Curry – much like Michael MJ Jordan before him or LeBron James or Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain or Walt Clyde Frasier or Jerry West or Larry Bird or any player that led their team – the pressure to be the man must be a heavy weight. Being counted on to come through in the clutch – to uphold the team – is something all athletes strive to achieve – but few succeed with much regularity. The great ones want the ball in their hands for that last shot! They want to be counted on – to uphold the team.

Let’s take a look at today’s passage in partial context. Isaiah 41:8–13 – “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

God has promised His children – His people – that He will be the man so to speak – that He will uphold them in troubled times. God has promised to be with us – to protect us – to be by our side – to run interference for us – to defeat our enemies even.

I had some friends in High School that had my back! I remember going through an area of the school that could have led to some trouble – but a friend spoke up for me and kept me safe. That is what God wants to do for us. God wants to be our strength – our protector. God wants to take us by the hand – to uphold us – if we would allow God to do so – and lead us on the path of righteousness. Will we allow God to do this?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 30, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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