There are many great and precious promises in the Bible. Many people like John 3:16 which is the central promise in the Bible as it tells of God loving the world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son to die for us and now whoever wants to be saved just has to follow Jesus. Others like John 14:1-3 where Jesus tells us not to be afraid and that He is preparing a place in Heaven for us. These are indeed great promises. However, my favorite text is one that has to do with God helping us through trials – through thick and thin and one that assures us that Jesus knows us all name!
My favorite text is taken from Isa. 43:1,2. It says:
“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Let me break this down into points so we can digest it better:
(1) God created us and has redeemed or saved us so we do not need to be afraid. (Of course elsewhere we see to be saved we have to have accepted Jesus as our Lord and savior and follow Him for this to apply to us. All His promises have conditions).
(2) God calls us by name. Think about that for a minute. There are about 7 billion people in the world and there are people being born and dying every minute and God knows us by name? Yes, as the Gospel Song says “He knows my name!”
(3) We belong to God. That indicates that God will take care of His own. We are not strangers. We are blood and not water. We are not slaves but sons and daughters of God.
(4) When we pass through the waters and rivers of trials God will be there with us. We need not fear of drowning in our problems hopelessly. It was God who led Israel through the Red Sea on dry land and when their enemies followed them the waters closed back in and their enemies drowned instead.
(5) Sometimes trials come that are greater than rivers. God is saying here that even when fiery trials come He will take us through it without a burn. It was Jesus who stood with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace and nothing happened to them in a furnace that was heated seven times – a furnace which was so hot that the very heat of it killed those who threw them in. These three Hebrew boys walked with Jesus in the fire and came out with their ropes burnt off but their hats, clothes and skin intact – not even the smell of smoke on them! The king, Nebuchadnezzar, had been so afraid for the lives of his other soldiers that he told the three to come out for themselves, afraid that his men would be affected by the heat a second time.
As the song says “What a mighty God we serve!” Let us obey Him, love Him, follow Him for He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Trials may come but behold Jesus comes too!
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