Help in Deep Waters

Sam Petitfils 

“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” (Isaiah 43:2)

Sometimes prepositions make all the difference. Notice that the verse above does not say “I will keep you from the deep waters or scorching fire.” It rather assumes you will indeed pass through deep waters and walk through fire. God does not promise deliverance from all trouble, but let’s look at what He does promise.

I will be with you. This remarkable promise can calm any soul, rightly understood. Jesus said tribulations in this life will come (John 16:33), but we should be of good cheer since Jesus has overcome the world. Believers, in following Jesus, have also overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Believers should pray above all that God will be with them.

In the Bible, when God is said to “be with” someone, it means much more than personal presence (though God’s presence is a supreme gift). The Lord was “with” Joseph and gave him favor in the sight of the prison guard (Genesis 39:21), causing Joseph to succeed (39:23). Likewise David prospered because God was “with him” (1 Samuel 16:18; 18:28) and caused him also to succeed (18:30). We can think of few individuals that went through more than those two, but God was with them every step of the way.

They will not overwhelm you. The rivers may rise to neck level, but will not drown us or take us away. God will hold us up through rising tides and treacherous waters. Have we taken the time to thank God not only for His amazing deliverances, but also for sustaining us through deep waters?

You shall not be burned. . .the flame shall not consume you. Here the believer faces scorching flames of trial that would destroy most people. But God promises His presence to His faithful flock and will lead them through the fiery flames of life’s difficulties. Additionally, He will not allow those flames to consume us. Will we face the heat? We will. Will the heat consume us? It won’t, because God is with us.

Take a moment to thank God for His marvelous presence in the midst of difficult times. Praise His name that He did not allow the waters to submerge us nor the flames to consume us. We also need to praise Him for the lessons we've learned during our difficult times. He taught us to rely less on man, and more on Him. He trained us to turn to Him for help and deliverance. He revealed to us His kind intentions (Ephesians 2:7) and strengthened our faith.

Finally, we need to share this truth with others. Maybe God has led others through the deep waters or fires of life. We have a special word of encouragement we can share, one of hope and blessing. Don’t be shy to communicate God’s promise of help and presence during stressful days. God could use you to point others to this amazing truth.

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