By David ReayMonday 9 Dec 2019LifeWords Devotionals
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (NLT)
One of the more common distortions of faith is that our faith in God shelters us against difficulties. If I pray the right prayers or have strong faith, if I do the right things by God he will do the right things by me.
Texts like this, and many others, tell us this is a dangerous lie. Note that it is expected we will pass through trials, we will face challenges. Christians are not quarantined against hardship. Our faith does not grant us immunity against adversity.
The wonderful promise of the Scriptures is not that God will have us avoid trials but that he will be with us in them. He and not they will have the last word. They may do some damage to us, they may in a few cases cost us our lives. The promise is that not even that will lead to our destruction. God is our God in life or in death, in comfort or in crisis.
The bottom-line prayer that it is always ‘safe’ to pray is that we will know God’s presence no matter what. In times of threat, pray that our eyes and our hearts will be fixed on the loving and consoling presence of Jesus, not on the threat itself. That doesn’t take away the danger, or neutralise our nervousness. It simply puts life in its proper perspective by focussing on the bedrock assurance of God being with us.
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