Isaiah 43 is one of my most favourite chapters in the Bible. It begins with an admonition to not allow fear to win the day because God has redeemed us. Just reflect on that for a minute and your day will become infinitely better! It goes on to say, “When we pass through waters / rivers / fires, he will be with us.” He reminds us in v1 that we are his and in v3 that he is ours! What a remarkable truth and compelling play on words!
All of this is “so that we might know and believe and understand who God truly is in our lives.” (v10) So often we want to place understanding and knowledge before belief. But faith and trust is the pathway to understanding the work of God in our lives. And that work is always new and fresh! God is a God of the new things and new days and fresh starts.
I love the promise that God will make a way for us in the wilderness. He will provide streams in the desert. (v19) He is the God of great blessings, but he is also the God who walks with us through the challenges. It struck me as I read this that will still have to “pass through” the waters and rives and fires. I wish that God would always just pluck me out of those trying times, but sometimes it is those chapters of our stories that draw us closest to his heart.
Our Galatians reading reminds us that we become children of God through faith in Jesus. (3:26) He was born “in the fullness of time” to step into our world and our stories. God does everything perfect in his time. Yet we still struggle to trust. In the Galatian’s case, they reverted back to a life of legalism instead of a life of freedom in faith. They became enslaved to a miserable life. (Gal. 4:9) In the King’s English, Paul asked the best question ever in 4:15: “What has happened to all your joy?” Friends, when we lose sight of Jesus and the gift of redemption and grace, we lose our joy.
David says it best in Psalm 108:4,5:
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let your glory be over all the earth.
A follower seeking to live out of the wonderful joy that comes in simply trusting Jesus through the journey of life.