WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE WATERS

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 43:1-10

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you walk through the 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 43:2,3a)

This verse has brought me great comfort through the years. I first claimed the promises of Isaiah 43 when my deceased wife, Anne, was first diagnosed with leukemia. This passage has continued to encourage me and give me hope, especially through the valley experiences of my life. The verse means so much to me that I had it engraved on my grave marker in Rock Hill, which I had put in place when Anne was buried.

We are going through some deep waters and fiery trials now. I have felt overwhelmed, afraid and anxious at times. When I become troubled in spirit, I quote this verse and claim its promise — “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” The simple but profound truth is that we are never alone; we have Jesus with us.

There may be times when we feel as if we are drowning, when the waters seem deep and dangerous; but we will not be overwhelmed. Why? Because of the One who is with us — the Lord our God, the Holy One of Israel, our Savior. He is the God of providence. He is our Redeemer, who has called us by name and claimed us to be His own (v. 1). We are precious in His sight (v. 4), and He loves us. We do not have to fear — “Fear not, for I am with you” (v. 5). The sovereign Lord of all creation is with us always. He will sustain us and He will deliver us.

During these difficult times, our Lord wants us to be good witnesses — “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He” (v. 10). We have an unprecedented opportunity to live out our faith and to bear witness of God’s presence and faithfulness to us. Let us remember whose we are — “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.” And let’s remember who we are — “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and My servant whom I have chosen.'”

Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, my Savior, I turn to You for comfort and strength during these trying times. I do not have to fear, for You are with me. Though these times are filled with uncertainties, I can be confident in Your steadfast love, presence and protection. You created me, redeemed me through the blood of Your Son, and made me Your own. I desire to be a faithful witness. I can only do this through Your strength and presence in my life.

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