Isaiah 43:1-3. But now thus says the Lord, he who created you oh Jacob, he who formed you oh Israel, 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, and the flames shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your savior.
God’s people will face trials, but we have the promises of God’s presence and salvation.
I can hardly think of more beautiful words in all of the old testament from God to his people. To say to his people and then just to think about these realities in our own lives right now, through Christ. So obviously it’s not the exact same when God is speaking to Jacob in Israel here in this context, but these are truths, realities we know God has spoken to us, to all who have trusted in Christ as a part of the church – the people of God.
So I just want you to just let these words fall on your heart, to hear God saying to you, fear not, I have redeemed you. I have saved you from your sin. I have made you my son or daughter. You are my child, I have called you by name.
Oh, let this soak in, the God of the universe has called your name. He says, you are mine, you belong to him. What an amazing thought. In my life today I belong to God, you belong to God. And then he starts giving these promises based on who we are. When you pass the waters I will be with you. When you pass the rivers they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire you will not be burned. Now, let this soak in, what he’s saying here. He’s not saying that as his people, as his sons and daughters, his children, that things are going to be easy for us in this world. He’s talking about passing through waters and through rivers. He says when you walk through fire, not if you walk through fire, he’s saying, you’re gonna walk through fire. You’re going to pass through rivers. Things are not always going to go well for you.
And so this is by no means a promise. In the old testament, we don’t have it anywhere in scripture that when we trust in God we won’t experience trials in this world, we will experience trials. But the beauty is, the God who redeemed us – the God who called our name – the God to whom we belong – he will be with us and he will bring us through.
I can only imagine that so many people who are listening to this right now are walking through some sort of trial. Or if you’re not walking through a trial right now, that some trial is likely around the corner. And whether you’re in the fire right now or the fire is coming around the corner, know this, the God of the universe is with you. You are his child, you belong to him, and he will provide for you – he will bring you though. Those flames will not consume you because he is the Lord your God and he is your savior.
So God, I pray, specifically right now, for people who are listening to this who are walking through trials, God I pray that they would know your presence with them. I pray that they would know how precious they are to you. We praise you oh God as our father who calls us by name. So God I just pray that if somebody is walking through a trial right now that they would know you’re with them and that your power would keep them. That you would enable them to stand in the middle of the trial, and that God you would bring them through it in a way that glorifies your name for all the grace you give them.
God knowing that trials could be around the corner for any of us we praise you, that in the middle of it we can always look up to you, know that we belong to you and that you will carry us through. We praise you oh God as our redeemer, as our savior and the one who’s promised to bring us through the trials we face in this life.
In Jesus name, amen.