“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. 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. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
“What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who
justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I have often heard people say, “I am a good person. Why are these bad things happening to me?” Every person that has walked the face of this earth has had their “rivers” and their “fires”. Just by being human we all have our trials; I do not know of anyone who has not. What is key is the attitude with which we handle them. Do we have the confidence that God is with us, or the feeling that we are all alone? Do we feel a sense of hope, or hopelessness? God tells us in Isaiah that we will have tough times but His wonderful message to us is not to fear for He is with us.
As you know I love the book of Romans, especially chapter 8. I hope that if you ever feel low or alone and are currently in the “fire” you take God’s comforting words to heart. God loves you and cares for you. He knows we will have tough times but He promises us that we are not alone in our trials. He has been there for countless generations before us. He is here for us now. He will be there for our children and our children’s children. He is our constant.
May we never lose sight of that and may we embrace Him at all times, not only in times of trouble.