Fear not, for I am with you (website only)

Authors & translators:
Kai, David (auth)
Composers & arrangers:
Kai, David (comp)
Elements of Worship:
Dismissal/Sending Out

(Isaiah 41:10 RSV)


Fear not, for I am with you,
Be not dismayed, for I am near,
I will strengthen, I will help you,
Uphold you, cast away your fear.

1. In the night of weeping I am with you,
Holding ‘til you reach the morning bright,
In the day of storms I am beside you,
Guiding ‘til you find the rainbow’s light.


2. Enemies surround you, do not fear them,
They can never harm the hope within,
Friends will soon abound to hold, support you,
Love in just community will win.


3. Cruelty and selfishness astound you;
Still we will perceive the kin-dom come,
Though the world’s injustices confound you,
We shall overcome working as one.



Words and Music: David Kai © 2021 (ver.3 revised September 2022)

Tune: Schreiber* Download as a PDF

*David writes: “It is my custom to name my hymn tunes after internment camps and ghost towns where Canadians of Japanese descent were interned during the Second World War. In this way I hope that these historic places and injustices will not be forgotten. Schreiber is a town in northern Ontario where my father was interned to work on the construction of the Trans-Canada highway.”

More about this hymn, including video, at https://sites.google.com/view/musicbydavidwkai/home/fear-not-for-i-am-with-you

Ideas for use

“Fear not, for I am with you” has the quality of a blessing, and would suit the close of a quieter, reflective service such as an evening Service of Compline, with its refrain “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” See also the liturgy of Prayer in the Evening in The Methodist Worship Book. 

These words may also be helpful for a service marking significant change within the life of a church or local community.

This hymn finds echoes in other Singing the Faith texts, including many in the Conflict, Suffering and Doubt section of the hymn book (e.g. O love that wilt not let me go, StF 636; Through all the changing scenes of life, StF 638). David’s hymn, in which God speaks to us, offers the other side of the coin to Margaret Rizza’s In the darkness of the still night (StF 109), in which we speak to God. It also sits helpfully alongside The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis) (StF 794), and hymns about the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples e.g. Andrew Pratt's The world is fraught with danger (website only).

More information

hands-with-paper-gigures-gettyimages-922107232This hymn was inspired by the book of the prophet Isaiah 41:10 (Revised Standard Version):

‘Fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.’

These words make up most of the chorus while the verses reflect on what God’s “I am with you” means in reality.

It doesn’t mean that we’re not astounded by cruelty and selfishness that exists around us.
It doesn’t mean that we will always be free of enemies or opposition.
It doesn’t mean that we’ll never weep, or never be caught up in storms – real or emotional.

It does mean that God remains constant, holding us and guiding us – even when we remain unaware of that presence.

However, what David’s hymn does in particular is to locate the worshipper in the faith community; this is not just a one-on-one with God. Our faith – and so God’s presence also – is expressed in kinship with others: “Love in just community will win” (v.2) and “We shall overcome working as one” (v.3).

Moreover, the “we” of verse 3 is not just about us, humankind left to our own devices, but us and God together; what David calls the “kin-dom”. This reflects the collaborative tone of the surrounding verses of Isaiah.

In Isaiah 41: 1-20, God reminds the people of Israel of all God has done for them; yet God and people “together” draw near for judgement, and “each one helps the other [his neighbour], saying to one another, ‘Take courage!’” (v.6). God motivates God’s people to use their skills, like a goldsmith or a blacksmith and, in God’s strength and kinship with one another, to make the land a good, liveable environment for all (vv.15-16).

David Kai

david-kaiDavid is a composer, songwriter and arranger who grew up in Toronto. His work reflects his own background as a Sansei (a third generation Canadian of Japanese descent), and his eclectic musical training and experience. Influences in his music include Japanese melodies sung and picked out on the piano by his grandmother, big-band music beloved by his parents, Beatles tunes, classical piano lessons, and later, jazz studies.

David was commissioned as a diaconal minister in 1987, and has served in pastoral charges in Birtle, Manitoba, Orleans and Ajax, Ontario. He has written hymn tunes and arrangements in collaboration with authors and composers such as Ruth Duck, Pat Mayberry and Brian Wren. He was a member of the committee that produced the Voices United hymn book, and also provided music for the Bible Quest curriculum and the More Voices hymn supplement. With his spouse Marly Bown, David lives near Grand Bend, Ontario.

David’s hymn We are a rainbow is also published on StF+. Explore some of David’s other compositions at https://sites.google.com/view/musicbydavidwkai

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