By: Arnie Cole and Michael Ross
But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 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."
-Do I believe that God has summoned me by name, and that He will be with me when I feel spiritually lost?
-Do I believe that God has a specific purpose just for me on this earth?
-Why does God guarantee that He will be with me during life's trials, but doesn't necessarily prevent those trials from taking place?
Sometimes we assume that because we believe in God and have faith and trust in Him that He will protect us from grief and hardship. But that isn't necessarily true. We live in a broken world, and that means that most of us will not walk through life unscathed. We must remember that God walks with us--He doesn't send us off alone to forge through the wilderness. He accompanies us every step of the way--through deep waters, through the blazing fires of life. He knows each of us by name, intimately and thoroughly--our fears, our flaws, our deepest desires. And He guides each of us on our own, individual path ... going before us and coming behind us as we navigate the hills and valleys of life.
Ask for change: Lord, help me to trust that You are here, right here with me. Help me to know with utter confidence that You will never leave me alone.
Consider what's real: It's easy to trust God in good times, when life rolls along smoothly and our worries are few. The key, of course, is to know that He is with us even when we feel alone, even when we might feel abandoned in the midst of our spiritual wilderness. The next time you are in such a desolate place, take a moment to reflect on other difficult times in the past that you survived with God at your side. And know that He's got your back today. Additional verses to consider: Psalm 139:5-12, Jeremiah 29:11
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