Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
During our Small Group Bible Study this week, we focused on the Bible story of Jesus walking on water and the apostle Peter sinking as he took his eyes off the Lord, lacked faith and doubted himself. I read a great little article on “real life” distractions that take our eyes and heart off the truth of the Almighty and eternal blessings. It pointed out that we live in a fallen world that is plagued by the effects of sin and the curse, where even the most godly Christian is subject to the ravages of disease, accident, old age, famine, drought, pestilence, and the sins and sinful choices of others.
Matthew 5:45 “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Despite how much we desire it not to be true, bad things happen. Many times our suffering is deserved due to the consequences of our personal sin or improper choices. The consequent suffering may be the direct result of our actions or may be the chastisement of God to correct our behavior. God may also bring difficulties into our lives to mold our character, making us more like His dear son or daughter. This way, we mature in faith.
Hebrews 12:9-10 “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
The aspect is that whatever the cause, there are times when we must go through “deep waters.” But, the key detail that we tend to miss is that we do not face them alone, as the third verse of the great old Christian hymn “How Firm a Foundation” teaches: “When through the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow; For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
God has not promised to keep our lives free from times of distress, but He has promised to be with us through them and to use them to bring about our ultimate sanctification.
Matthew 28:20 “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In Christ, Brian