“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 fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
As a Christian, we believe that God’s Word is true. We believe that what he says will come to pass. When the Bible says, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you,” (James 4:8), we believe that will happen. Yet, when our circumstances become difficult, when it seems like the swells of stress, tragedy and life might drown us, do we waiver and wonder will God show up? Do we press in and say, “I still believe!” Or do we, lower our head while saying, “God’s will be done,” yet in our hearts we doubt?
Here is what we know!
“When you pass through waters, I will be with you…” (Isaiah 43:2)
When the Israelites had come to a place where mountains were on their right and left, the Red Sea was in front of them and Pharoah’s army was behind them, it would have been easy to swing into a feeling of doubt and thinking that your life was about to come to an end. Yet, we know how the story ends. God tells Moses, extend your staff and all night long a wind blew back the waters creating a path for them to cross to the other side (Exodus 14:21-22). Thus, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you….” (Isaiah 43:2). God showed up, on time for his people.
“And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Joshua was leading the Israelites after the death of Moses. He stepped into the role of being the leader. They had come to a place where they needed to cross the Jordan River. Yet, the Jordan River was at high flood stage, because they arrived there during the rainy season. This was not just some creek to cross or shallow river, it was a river at flood stage. Sometimes we are in a flood season. It seems like one thing after another keeps rushing into our lives and we feel like the rivers are at a high point , but God says, “they will not sweep over you.” (Isaiah 43:2) Matter of fact, in Joshua chapter three verse four in the Message Bible God says, “When you see the Covenant-Chest of God, your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it. Make sure you keep a proper distance between you and it, about half a mile—be sure now to keep your distance!—and you’ll see clearly the route to take. You’ve never been on this road before.” When Joshua stepped back he was able to clearly see the route, one that he had never taken before. When life seems like it is going to sweep over us and drown us because of all the rushing circumstances, if we would just step back, we may see something we have never seen before, a road we have never traveled. That is the power that God has in our lives. He parts seas, he stops moving water by piling it in a heap, creating a path that has not been traveled. ‘
“And that’s what happened. The people left their tents to cross the Jordan, led by the priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant. When the priests got to the Jordan and their feet touched the water at the edge (the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest), the flow of water stopped. It piled up in a heap—a long way off—at Adam, which is near Zarethan. The river went dry all the way down to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea). And the people crossed, facing Jericho.” (Joshua 3:14-16)
Sometimes life heats up. Accusations, persecutions, stereotypes, feelings of inadequacy, depression, discouragement seems to be ablaze in your life. It feels as though the flames of these emotions might burn you up and leave you in a pile of ash. God says, “ When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2) Our friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendago (Daniel 3:25-27), were charged for not bowing down to an idol, the king. They were a stench in King Nebuchadnezzar’s nostrils. They were literally put in a fiery furnace for not following the command, yet they did not catch fire. They did not die. God was with them. He shielded them, protected them and joined them in the heat of what seemed like the moment they would die. When life has overwhelmed you and your emotions and circumstances feel like they will consume your life, God is right there with you to protect you from total destruction. He does not abandon you and will not leave you.
Time and time again, God shows up in the Bible to shield, protect and help his people. He created this earth to be full of people, because he loves us. He did not create a world to be empty! Matter of fact his words in Isaiah say this:
“When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you. (Isaiah 43:3-4)
When there are rising waters, trust God.
When it seems there is not a path to take; step back and trust God to make a way that you have not seen.
If fire is burning believe that God will be there to keep you and protect you from the flames. You shall have life and life more abundantly
“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. “(John 10:10, The Message)