September 13, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3
Affliction is a devastating experience. Often it comes suddenly. We are challenged by its fury, and seek refuge from its tantalizing effects. The unsettling circumstances cause emotional frustration, weariness, and concern, making us vulnerable to being overcome by it all. God says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name." What greater encouragement can we have but to KNOW WE ARE HIS, and that HE will remove every doubt, fear, and concern that engulfs us, as we, with unwavering faith...trust Him alone!
Whatever confronts us, God says, "Fear not...I will be with you!" HE is our refuge...because HE LOVES US! He has, through His permissive will, allowed this affliction, trial, or adversity to befall, that through it all, we might be drawn into a greater intimacy of His fellowship, and know anew the magnitude of His Grace and Mercy. Such times are a "mark of God's love." His primary concern is to develop our spiritual life, bring us to a greater understanding of His love, and to solidify our faith in HIM.
In our affliction, we try to reason, and question, and seek answers to no avail. God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). We try to understand His "infinite" dealings with our "finite" minds. God wants us to recognize, that whatever the difficulty...to trust Him implicitly, He is in control, and as He has promised, "...that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
God says to us "IN" our difficulty, "For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Don't ponder "in" your dilemma...don't be overcome by circumstances you can't control...LOOK UP with an "abandoned faith" to the ONE that loves you, and will triumphantly take you through the waters, the rivers, and the fire...they shall not devour you, because I WILL BE WITH YOU!" (Isaiah 43:1-3). We have the "certainty" of His care, and the "promise" of His power. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
David took refuge in the Lord time and again. He says, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, in whom I take refuge. As for God, his way is perfect, He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights" (Psalm 18:2,30,33). Affliction is a "mark of God's love." IN our affliction, trial or distress, may we find new revelations of His infinite love and matchless grace.
"God gets His best soldiers from the highlands of affliction"..."that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Ephesians 3:16-17).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=257&date=2012-09-13
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