July 14 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 43 – 45 and Psalms 14
Isaiah’s style of writing is at times incredibly poetic and contains powerful revelations of God’s heart and desires.
Here is a sample of his poetry from Isaiah 43:1-3 – “But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “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;”
What incredible comfort and security we find when we belong to Jesus. He created me – formed me – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” (Jeremiah 1:5) He redeemed me – summoned me by name – and I am His! Through tough times – the water or the fire – He is with me. He is my God and this is what brings peace into my life. This revelation brings us to a place of understanding that God does not come only for a while only to abandon us and leave us without hope. He is ever present – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)
Christians often get a very wrong impression of God and of the ways He deals with His people. They somehow believe that the Devil is a very present tormentor and that God is only an occasional visitor to give us respite or deliverance from all the attacks of the enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is the Holy Spirit who is ever present and though we do have to face spiritual evil, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) He does not leave us or forsake us. Jesus said, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24) – and His name is Jesus.
Therefore “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”(Colossians 3:15)
1. How is it that God, who manages the affairs of an infinite universe, also personally looks after each one of His children?
2. Give a personal example of how God has been “an ever-present help in trouble” for you.