Journal Entry ~ 01/13/18
1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. - Isaiah 43:1-2
I think the reason this passage is so comforting to me is because I can return to it again and again and find new things it teaches me about who God is, who I am in God, and how He is changing me.
“I will be with you” reminds me how the God the universe is a very present God. Yesterday, I meditated on how He is a personal God, how He knows me intimately. Today, I am reminded how my personal God is also with me. I can trust He is with me because He knows me so well - He knows what I face, and He knows how my heart will respond so He rushes in to remind me I’m not alone. When we face difficult trials, or even the day to day challenges that can exhaust us, we have a tendency to look for solutions by ourselves. How are we going to solve this problem? Our God, who knows us personally, knows this is our struggle, so He makes sure to remind us here that we are not alone. We don’t need to face our struggles alone - no matter what we walk through, He’s there with us. When the waters rise and the fire burns, He promises to be with us.
Meditating on the truth that He promises to be with me through the trials of life makes me strong. I can live with whatever life throws at me because He is present and He has strengthened me. He has given me the capacity to endure. Long before I was diagnosed with cancer, God began to seal this truth to my heart. I have been through several significant challenges in my life where His presence was quite tangible. I grew in my confidence that He would always be there with me - standing on that truth has strengthened me through the years. It certainly doesn’t happen over night, but in time, when you learn the promise that He will be with you is real, you begin to grow stronger as you face different trials. I’m reminded of the Need to Breathe lyrics from the song Hard Love: “But there's a reason that the road is long, It takes some time to make your courage strong”. My courage has been made strong through the trials I’ve walked through. While the cancer diagnosis did take me by surprise, because He has shown up so faithful in my life through the years, it wasn’t hard to find the strength He promises in this trial. I had complete confidence that He would be with me. I am strong in Him.
When we understand He is with us through the trials so we can be strong, we should notice our attitude changes - we become a people of perseverance. We don’t give up because we know that He has something in this current struggle for us, and we know that He has allowed it for a very specific reason. We have confidence that He promises to walk through this trial with us, so we press on through it with His strength. Our fears are replaced with a joy and an excitement to see Him move in a whole new way.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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