Tuesday, May 20, 2008

God Will Be With You In Times of Trouble

Today I am reading from the OT; the book of Isaiah, chapter 43:1-5.
Do you ever feel when facing something difficult, if God sees you, hears you cry, or cares about your situation? Listen to what he says in these verses.
"But now this is what the Lord says - he who created you, he who formed you. 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 when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames set you ablaze. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you".
You know the old saying, "when it rains, it pours"? That's how life seems now and then - we find ourselves in the middle of something and think, "could it get any worse", then something else seems to rise up....it seems like a flood of troubles surround us.
In the verses above, the FIRST thing the Lord says, is that He is Lord - he made and formed each one of us, and says that he has called each one of us by name. Imagine that - when Jesus hung dying on the cross, yours and my names were in his heart! Whatever concerns us, concerns Him, and he says "fear not".
The reference to the waters and rivers not overflowing or sweeping us away means he's not always going to take away the problems, but he will be in the middle of them with us, and not let them overpower us. The fiery trials that come our way - again, he's saying that with him by our side, we won't be burned.
Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo - there was a fourth man in the furnace with them, and not only did they not burn up, when they came out of there, they didn't even smell like smoke! They were in a situation that was fatal, yet while in the middle of that, they called out to the Lord, and he showed up right there with them, and the guards outside the furnace saw the fourth man in there, and that's what the Lord is wanting to show in our own lives- the world is watching to see how we all react as Christians when we are in the middle of a "personal fire", so make sure that He is seen in it with you.
I love what verse 4 says - "you are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you"....WOW!
Those are the kinds of words that a loving parent says to their children, and God is trying to show us that even if we didn't have parents on earth who considered us precious or honored, or never told us "I love you", the God of all the universe IS saying that to you!
Tell him today of your love for him, your need for him, and you too will experience the same presence of God that the three men in the furnace knew.


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