“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. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…” Isaiah 43:1-3a
When these verses came to me I was struggling a lot with fear. My health had declined so much that I had suddenly found myself unable to walk and thus bound to my bed. My body was so weak that it was difficult to speak and even breathe sometimes because of how much it exhausted me. I was in constant pain. What was happening? What was wrong with me? Would I need to be hospitalized? These questions and others like them filled my mind. I had heard that people with my kind of illnesses sometimes ended up bed-bound and I was afraid that that might happen to me and that I wouldn’t be able to bear it. The thought of going to hospital also frightened me. The night God gave me these verses is one I’ve not forgotten. I remember I was crying out desperately to the Lord when He brought these verses to mind and impressed on my heart the words, “You are mine,” and “I will be with you.” It wasn’t an audible voice, but I knew He was speaking those words directly to me. They brought such comfort and peace to my heart. Because I am His, I could rest assured that He would take care of me. No matter what happened to me, whether I ended up hospitalized and bed-bound or not (and I did, not long after this), I knew that He would be with me, and with Him it would be okay. With these verses and others like them the Lord carried me through the difficult days and weeks ahead with more peace than I’d ever thought possible.
Perhaps you have found yourself in a hospital bed like I did, or perhaps you are in some other difficult situation. But no matter where you’re at, ponder these precious words. Ponder them until they penetrate into the very depths of your soul.
You are His. He is with you.
Because you are His child you can be sure that He will take care of you (1 Pt 5:7). As your Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) He will supply your needs (Phil 4:19). He will never leave you or forsake you (Heb 13:5). His love for you is eternal (Jer 31:3) and He holds you in His everlasting arms (Deut 33:27). He cannot forget you (Is 49:15), for He has written your name on the palms of His hands (Is 49:16). You do not have to walk alone (Matt 28:20b), and no matter where He leads your Shepherd has been there before you (Jn 10:4). When you feel as though the waves would swallow you remember that He is mightier than they (Ps 93:3-4) and the storms still know and obey His voice (Ps 107:29).
God doesn’t promise that we won’t walk through the fire and the water, but He does promise to be with us in them. Daniel’s three friends had to go into the fire to know that the Son of God was there with them. Isn’t it comforting to know that the One who redeemed us and called us and loves us more than we can imagine is right there in the trial with us? So often in the Bible when God tells us not to be afraid, it is accompanied by the promise of His presence. A child might be afraid to be in the dark alone, but when her daddy is there with her, she’s no longer afraid because she knows her daddy will take care of her. She holds tight to his hand and trusts him in her simple childlike way. So must we trust our dear Heavenly Father.
“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13
He cannot fail the child who trusts Him.
With love, ❤