Thursday, May 4, 2017

When Life Gets Difficult

“But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’” (Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV)

The procedure about which I wrote two days ago gave us the news we really didn’t want to hear, but knew, without Divine intervention, we would have to face.  Thus, my wife and I now are embarking on an unfamiliar, and somewhat risky, journey.  The temptation, and we both have felt it already, is to be overwhelmed with fear of the unknown. So this passage has come in handy when the temptation rears its ugly head.

The prophet Isaiah had been proclaiming God’s judgment on His people. The outlook was grim—exile, death, and destruction.  It was the darkest of visions to take in and the people were greatly afraid. But with the forbidding prophecies came also hope for those who would yet place their full trust in the Lord.  His judgment was due to Israel’s and Judah’s (the Northern and Southern kingdoms) rejection of Him and their turning to idols and to other nations for worship and help.  But to those who would still repent and turn back to the Lord, He gave this promise and hope.  

As with most of the Scriptures, while written specifically for one audience, its application extends to all. So, too, this promise of the Lord is just as applicable to us today as it was so many millennia ago.  

He has created each of us.  He has given us the opportunity for redemption through Jesus. He has called us each by our names and we belong to Him.  And when we walk through troubled waters or the fire of persecution or suffering, He will be there to protect us and to guide us. For He is God, our Lord and Savior!

As my wife and I begin this journey that seems fraught with challenges, it is this hope to which we cling.  It won’t be easy, but we will not be alone or on our own.  

Today, what struggles are on the horizon for you? What is causing you to be anxious and afraid?  Whatever it may be, know the Lord your God is with you and will protect you.  Nothing will be able to overwhelm you if you trust in Him, no matter how difficult the journey ahead.

© Jim Musser 2017

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