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. – Isaiah 41:10
What does it mean to be righteous? You can look it up, and you will find something along the lines of “being morally right.” In God’s case, it means that all He does is right — He is the creator of what we call “right,” because it is an extension of who He is. It is not something He made up or a list of rules He came up with. Rather, it is a way of describing God’s character and identity.
God created us, and wants us to be more like Him. Not to force us into some kind of servitude to a series of do and don’ts, but because to be righteous places us into harmony with who He is and what He has created. In the Old Testament, it is obvious that within our own abilities we fail at being righteous over and over. God comes to the rescue, He says “do not fear.” We can’t do it on our own. God takes his own hand, His own righteous hand, and lifts us up and strengthens us. We are afraid and dismayed, but He is with us and He is our loving God, and His righteousness overcomes our lack of being righteous. He covers our wrongs with His own righteousness. Fear has no place when we realize God’s love for us.