“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Many of us have this tendency to fix things. But sometimes, the best thing to do is to keep quiet, avoid giving advice and just hold the person in front of you. When all the explanation and involvement fall short, it’s best just to hold the other person. Even when emotions and anxiety run high, sometimes the best way to take the edge off a person is to hug them.
In our culture, especially among men, we’ve been taught never to admit our need to be held. Yet, a good hug can often be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re a man, a woman, a child, or an adult, there are times when you need to be held.
When you’re tired of carrying all the weight and feel all the pressure to perform, remember that the only One that matters when everything has been said and done is Jesus. It’s His performance that counts. He has made us right, holy, and perfect. He has brought us forgiveness and faith.
The First and the Last
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Upon reading the first chapter of Revelation, you might get lost in all the symbols and prophecies given to the churches. But if you read deeper into the text, our Lord gives encouragement to the exiled John that we can also apply in our lives. The One who is the beginning and the end—Jesus Christ—is coming soon. And as we wait, we can be at peace because he holds us.
In Revelation 1:17, the Lord tells John, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last.” He reveals His eternal character in a personal way. He also makes known His presence, showing the apostle that He is with Him.
Going back to the Old Testament, God has spoken the exact words to the prophet Isaiah, “It is I, the Lord, the First and the Last. I alone am He” (see Isaiah 41:4). Through His messenger, God is bringing consolation and assurance to Israel, telling them that their long captivity is about to end. For a nation that has gone through so much, God’s words are a guarantee of His promise. He showed them that they are seen and heard, even if there are times when their hearts were far from Him.
An Assurance for Us
Where do you need to hear God say that He is the First and the Last? Where do you need Jesus to put His hand on you and tell you not to be afraid? Like what He did during the time of Isaiah, John, and other heroes of the faith, we can move on with courage and joy because of His Presence.
That’s how Jesus holds us. He’s got our world in His hands. The problem is we’re so busy working, striving, acting, and trying harder that we don’t take time just to stop and rest and hear Him say to us, “I got you. I’ll hold you.”
Stop. Breathe. Speak His Name—JESUS. The First and the Last. Take another deep breath.
It feels good to breathe—to have God’s peace that assures it will all be made right for you, your family, your community, and even the people you’ve hurt—that it’s all going to be made right.
Whatever you need to make right in your life, Jesus is the First and the Last. He is yours as much as you are His.
He is the only One that matters.
In your pain, loss, disappointment, and discouragement, let the Lord Jesus remind you that He makes all things new. Ask Him to help you remember when you’re struggling and wrestling with yourself while feeling defeated to breathe and speak His Name.
Let Jesus hold you when you’re struggling. Allow Him to restore your rest.