“HOLD my hand,” says a father to his young son as they get ready to cross a busy street. With his father’s strong hand wrapped around his tiny fingers, the boy feels safe, unafraid. Have you ever wished that someone could take your hand and safely lead you through life’s uncertainties? If so, you may find comfort in the words recorded by Isaiah.​—Read Isaiah 41:10, 13.

Isaiah directed his words to Israel. Though God viewed that nation as his “special property,” it was surrounded by enemies. (Exodus 19:5) Did Israel need to fear? Jehovah used Isaiah to convey a reassuring message. As we examine those words, let us keep in mind that they also apply to God’s worshippers today.​—Romans 15:4.

“Do not be afraid,” urges Jehovah. (Verse 10) These are not empty words. Jehovah explains why his people do not need to fear: “For I am with you.” He is not a distant source of aid, promising only to arrive in time to help in moments of need. He wants his people to know that he is with them​—as if by their side—​ever ready to support them. Is that not a comforting thought?

Jehovah further assures his worshippers, saying: “Do not gaze about.” (Verse 10) The Hebrew verb used here can refer to those who “look about in all directions to see whether there is anything that can harm them.” Jehovah explains why his people do not need to look over their shoulder in fear: “For I am your God.” What could be more reassuring than that? Jehovah is “the Most High,” “the Almighty One.” (Psalm 91:1) With the all-powerful Jehovah as their God, why should they fear?

What, then, can Jehovah’s worshippers expect from him? He promises: “I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness.” (Verse 10) He also says: “I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand.” (Verse 13) What do you think of when you hear those words? “Taken together, these two verses present a powerful picture of parent and child,” explains one reference work. “[The father] does not merely stand by to defend, but he is also physically with the child; he will not allow the child to be separated from him.” Just imagine​—Jehovah will not allow his people to be separated from him, even during what may seem to be the darkest moments in their life.​—Hebrews 13:5, 6.

Jehovah’s worshippers today can find much comfort in the words Isaiah recorded. In these “critical times hard to deal with,” we may at times feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life. (2 Timothy 3:1) But we do not have to face such challenges alone. Jehovah is willing to reach out and grasp our hand. Like trusting children, we can hold on to his mighty hand, confident that he will lead us in the right direction and help us in our time of need.​—Psalm 63:7, 8.

Suggested Bible reading for January:

Isaiah 24-42