While spending a little time in a workbook that I’m going through with some friends, I read the following text:
Isaiah 43:1-3a (ESV)
1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Last night, I led in the hymn “How Firm a Foundation.” In that song, we sang the concepts found in these verses. What a joy it is to know that, if we are Christ’s, we are truly in his care. Though we may go through deep waters, dark valleys, or fiery trials, God is still there with us. God is with us to comfort us, to keep us, to strengthen us.
Why does God strengthen us? It is certainly not out of any obligation to us that we have earned. No, we earn nothing good from God. Yet God, because of the life he has given us in his Son, will stand with us and sustain us. God, for the sake of his own name and out of his own love, will not let his children be totally overwhelmed.
I’m sure you know what it feels like to look up and feel like you have no hope. It is not a surprise to find ourselves at the end of our rope. It is not a surprise to see that we cannot fix our lives on our own. God did not design us to live in this sinful world as lone rangers. Thus, it is a comfort to hear our God declare to his covenant people that he is with them, he will guard and guide them, and he will watch over them because he loves them and they are his.
Have you gotten under this love of Christ? There is only one way to have these verses apply to you—by trusting in the Lord Jesus. WE are sinners. We must be covered by God’s grace to be saved. Cry out to Jesus for mercy and find that you have become God’s child.
IF you are God’s child, revel in these verses. Let them comfort and strengthen you for life. We cannot beat the challenges of the day. WE cannot even straighten out our own hearts on our own. But our God is with us. He is mightier than any trial we face. HE will not lose us, for he is our God and he declares his love for us.