“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.” Isaiah 43:1-3
I love it when we sing Isaiah 43 at camp, especially since the words of the song come straight from the Bible. This promise is so sweet because it’s God telling us what He does, why He does it, and how He is able to do it.
In this promise, God assures us that He will be with us when we go through tough situations. There may be times in our lives when things get hard and maybe we feel like God isn’t with us. Sometimes we might feel like He’s forgotten us or doesn’t care. Take comfort in knowing that none of that is true. He is ALWAYS watching us and He ALWAYS cares for us.
Maybe you know what it feels like to go through hard situations and feel like God is far away. Maybe that is happening to you right now. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is right there next to us. He is taking care of us when our world feels like it’s burning up. He’s there when it feels like we’re drowning and floundering around, not knowing what to do.
Not only is He right there with us, but He’s also walking us through it, protecting us from being consumed by the fire or overwhelmed by the waves.
I saw a picture once with this verse on it and the picture was of a little girl crossing a bridge over a body of water in the middle of the storm. The waves were big and rough but the little girl wasn’t alone. In the picture, God was walking right next to her on the bridge, holding her hand as she crossed. That’s what it’s like for us. God is holding our hand, or maybe even carrying us in his arms or on his back. We’re told not to fear and when we remember that God is with us through it all, we shouldn’t be afraid.
The most incredible part of this is not that God does this for us, but why. The first part of the passage tell us exactly why - because we are His. He has claimed us as His children and saved us from our sins through Jesus, and now He wants to keep us safe.
He is a loving father who knows when we are hurting or afraid, and He helps us during those times. Like the verse says, He is our Savior, the one who can save us from anything. And the verse doesn’t say that He’ll be there “if” hard times come. The verse says “when.” And yeah, it’s scary to think like that because we would rather not have to go through fire and water. But remember that God will be there.
At some point in our lives, every one of us will face something that we can’t get through on our own. The good news is that we won’t have to. When that day comes, God will be right beside you, holding your hand, and protecting you. Praise God.