ODJ: In a Tough Place

April 13, 2014 

READ: Isaiah 41:17-24 

When the poor and needy search for water . . . I, the LORD, will answer them (v.17).

God doesn’t reject or ignore us when we’re in a tough place. In Isaiah, we read these words: “I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them” (Isaiah 41:17). The Lord is present—listening to our prayers, feeling what we feel, and loving us when no one else seems to care.

God also sees the needs that other people might not notice. He’s aware “when the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst” (Isaiah 41:17). Water, food, clothing, companionship—God knows that we require these essentials.

He often uses others to sustain us little by little during difficult times. Sometimes He changes difficult seasons into secure times. He can create abundance in desolate places—“[filling] the desert with pools of water” (Isaiah 41:18).

Faith in God is a firm foundation. God’s heart for struggling people is evident throughout Scripture. He wants us to experience justice, hope, and joy (Psalm 9:18, 82:3; Isaiah 30:19). And the Lord is honored when we reach out to help the poor and disadvantaged—those in a tough place (Proverbs 14:31).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan> 1 Kings 3:1-15

Read Leviticus 19:9-10 to understand how God wanted the Israelites to help others in need. Read James 2:14-17 to see the connection between faith and caring for the poor. 
How might a person's spiritual and emotional life be affected by being in a tough place? What can you do to help meet the needs of a hurting person you know?