Recently something happened in our family that brought me to tears. Oh, I know God is going to bring good out of the situation eventually, but it hurt just the same. I spent most of the night praying--not because I’m “spiritual” but for the very practical reason that I couldn’t sleep.
Because I don’t operate very well without sleep, I needed some Bible verses to wrap my heart around. I turned to Isaiah 43 because this chapter is entirely the words of the Lord. Here are the first two verses: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 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” (Isaiah 43:1, 2).
Notice God mentions three characteristics of trials in our lives. First, He talks about “waters,” and I think He means the depth of our problems. Then He refers to “rivers,” which remind us of the turbulence of our trials. Last, He speaks of “fires”, and that reminds us of the intensity of our difficulties.
God doesn’t say, “Ifyou happen to go through deep waters or fast-paced rivers or scorching fire.” He says, “Whenyou walk through them.” We will always have problems to deal with. The good thing is that these situations are no surprise to God.
Are you too going through a hard time? Let’s review what God says He’ll do for you:
- When you pass through the waters, He will be with you.
- The rivers will not overwhelm you.
- You will not be burned in the fire.
These are God’s promises. And did you notice that in verse 1, He says, “I have called you by name, you are mine”? How personal is that! I think I can sleep now.