2 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;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. God’s word is full of promises. He is always faithful to His word. He is our Good Shepherd and no matter where we find ourselves in life the Lord is always leading us.
As we draw near to Him each day we come to know His voice. As we draw near to the Lord we grow in intimacy and maturity with Him. It is vital in this day and age that we are able to discern and distinguish the voice of the Lord. There are many voice out there trying to garner our attention. But the one voice we must listen to is that of the Lord.
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Sometimes the challenges we face in life can seem like a mighty river that is simply trying to drown us. We can feel overwhelmed and feel as if God has almost abandoned us. But it is in these moments when the Lord is doing His deepest work. It is when He is leading us through the river that we learn to stand upon His word and not rely upon our feelings.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. As I meditate upon this it reminds me of the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In the face of opposition and under the threat that they would be thrown into the fiery furnace, they stood their ground and held fast to the faith they had in Jehovah. They trusted the Lord and knew that the Lord would surround and protect them. Even though the furnace was turned up seven times hotter they were not touched by the fire nor did their clothes have the smell of smoke. But the soldiers who brought them to the furnace died as they themselves encounter the heat on the outside of the furnace.
It is vital that we study God’s word daily. It is based upon His promises to us to sustain and lead us. He will always meet our needs and He will always bring to pass His plans and purposes in our lives by His love, grace, and mercy. In our most difficult moments we must simply fix our eyes upon Him and His promises for our lives.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:3
These verse described prophetically what Jesus would go through at Calvary. He was despised and rejected because of us. He knew the price that had to be paid at Calvary and He knew the pain and suffering He would face. But it was His love for us that drove Him to choose to come to the earth and lay down His life.
Many in the world today despise the name of Jesus. They reject the existence of God and want nothing to do with Him. They want to simply live their lives to fulfill the selfish desires that exist within their hearts. But God in His grace and mercy continues day after day to knock on human heart. The Lord continues to advance the gospel throughout the earth.
When we understand the grace and mercy of God we will surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. To follow Christ means to simply give Jesus all that we are. His will becomes the driving force in our lives. We simply live our lives to bring glory and honor to His name.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31
There are times in our walk with God when it may feel that the Lord has forgotten us or that He doesn’t see the trial or challenge we are currently facing. But God has designed our lives and it is not by accident that we are following Christ. He has so designed our lives to cause us to continue to grow in maturity and intimacy with Him.
The Lord has not forgotten us. His strength and His understanding has no end. As we wait upon the Lord it is the Lord who strengthens us and enables us to overcome. Even the young at some point grow tired and weary, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.
One of the most difficult thing to do is to wait upon the Lord. We can’t see beyond today and all we have is God’s word and His promises for us. He has given us His word and in His word we have example of time and time again of God being faithful in the lives of those who follow after Him and serve them.
There is a very deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord. The Lord is continually stretching and growing our faith. He is teaching us to walk according to His word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the history of God’s people God has brought His servants through seasons of waiting and it is in those seasons that God has done His greatest work.
We live in a microwave culture in which we want everything and we want it right now. But it doesn’t work the same with the Lord and His kingdom. When He calls someone He takes His time shaping and molding their life like a piece of clay. Often when we are waiting on the Lord it is like a bottle in a wine cellar that ages over time and becomes better with time. Waiting is not easy. But waiting is essential for us experiencing and walking in every promise and plan God has for us.
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1 NIV
The Lord is perfect in all things and that includes faithfulness. Many times when we are waiting upon the Lord and His time it can be very hard for us because we live within time and cannot see beyond today. But God exist outside of time and sees all things. He sees the end from the beginning and He is fulfilling His plans and purposes by His grace and power on a daily basis.
The plans He has for us were established before the foundations of the world. He has placed us on this earth for such a time as this. He has created us with a unique plan and purpose. There is no one else like us on this earth. As we seek Him daily and come to know Him in greater ways we experience His peace and presence in greater ways.
We become more sensitive and more aware of the presence of the Lord. His voice becomes much more clearer and His leading and His guidance becomes clear. We learn to praise Him in every situation because we know that He is working all things together for our good. Walking in deep intimacy with Him and seeking Him daily is key for our relationship with Him. The more we come to know Him, the more we will be used by Him in greater ways because every decision we make will align with His heart and His will.
17 This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
The Lord knows what is best for us. Each and every day He desires to lead and guide us one step at a time. Where we often make a mistake is we try to navigate this life in our own strength and wisdom.
Our strength is limited and always falls short. Our wisdom is short sighted and cannot see beyond today. When we navigate life according to God’s strength and His wisdom we will overcome all things.
We must remember that the Lord is God and we are not. When we make the decision to make Jesus Lord and Savior, He becomes Lord of our lives. That means that He is Lord of every decision. It means that the dreams we have for our future are laid before His throne and the purpose of our lives simply becomes His will.
To Lord tells us not to rely on our own understanding. Life is simply a series of decisions that take place on a daily basis. When those decisions are made according to the leading of the Lord His will naturally is accomplished in our lives.
“I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God.
Isaiah 43:11-12 NASB
The Lord Jesus is the only true God. There are many who proclaim different gods in this world. But the only true God is God Almighty. God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are three in one. We are His witnesses upon this earth and we are called to bring glory and honor to His name.
The way our lives are transformed to bring Him glory is by diligently studying His word daily. As our minds are changed and renewed by the study of His word, our hearts and our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We shall all stand before Jesus some day and give an account of how we used the gifts and talents God has given us. Our lives are not even our own but we are simply called to be stewards of that which the Lord has entrusted to us.
No matter where you find yourself understand that God is in control. No matter how you have suffered for His name, understand that a great reward awaits you in His kingdom. May we hold fast to the faith we have in Christ Jesus. As the world around us becomes darker by the day, may we shine brightly in this hour of history. For His return is very soon.
17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
When our lives are lived in accordance with God’s word we will experience peace in all things. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ we are declared as righteous because the righteousness of Christ is applied to our lives. But we are also called to live out holiness. We have been created in the image of God and before we come to Christ we are in bondage to the curse of sin and death. But after we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we are set free.
The purpose of walking with Christ is to bring glory and honor to His name. Many will argue against the truth of the Bible and even against God Himself. But what the world can’t argue against is a life that is transformed into the image of Christ. If we desire peace and quietness in our lives then may our hearts and lives be fully committed to the Lord. May we live for Him each day and continue to grow in our relationship with Him.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4 NIV
The Lord calls us to trust Him. He is our rock and our fortress. He is unmovable and unchangeable. We have nothing to fear with the Lord because we know He is the same, yesterday, and forever. His love for us does not change and He simply calls us to follow Him and grow each day.
There are many challenges we will face in this world following Jesus Christ. We will be persecuted and hated at times because we represent the name of Jesus. We will face trials that will be placed in our lives to cause us to grow and mature. But through it all we must simply trust the Lord. As He draws us near and as He challenges us to grow, may we hold fast to the faith we have and know that no matter what we face that God by His grace, power, and mercy will work all things together for our good.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care. Isaiah 53:3
The prophecy concerning the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was given hundred of years before He ever stepped foot upon the earth. Isaiah prophesied of the coming messiah and all that He would have to suffer. Jesus was despised and rejected because of our sin. We are incapable of saving ourselves and it was only Jesus who could save us.
Before the foundations of the world were created, the plan of salvation was established. The Father knew when He created man and woman in His image that He would have to send His Son to take the punishment they deserved. Jesus knew when He created Adam and Eve that He would have to take the sin of the world upon Himself because only His precious blood could atone for the sin of humanity.
The love of God was demonstrated in Jesus going to the cross. If we ever wonder if God truly loves us we only need to look at the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that His righteousness could be applied to our lives when our faith and trust is place on Him.
His love is not earned, it is simply received as a gift. His love for us never changes, it is not dependent upon our behavior nor our performance. When we truly understand the truth of Jesus Christ we will simply desire to draw near with our whole heart. In drawing near we will be transformed and His will and destiny will be fulfilled in our lives. The time of His return draws ever nearer. May we abide daily in Him and seek His face with our whole heart.