March 4, 2017
READ: Isaiah 43:1-7
When you walk through the fire . . . the flames will not consume you (v.2).
Most people and animals escaped the flames of a fire that destroyed the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. A black cat named Tux, however, was left behind. Firefighters eventually found the feline, unharmed, inside an overturned stove. The firefighters suggested that an explosion must have blown an opening in the appliance, allowing Tux to jump inside. This safe place allowed him to survive the blaze.
This cat’s ordeal reminds me of a promise God made to Israel. He said, “When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).
Some circumstances we face threaten us in the same way a wildfire poses danger to everything it encounters. We see trouble on the horizon, but there’s no avoiding it. Unable to outrun or bypass it, our only alternative is to walk through it—to endure it. Jesus revealed that even the most intense flames of difficulty can’t devour a child of God. Our souls are safe with Him (Matthew 10:28).
The God who showed up in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was Jesus, who also walks with us through the fiery times in our lives. He is the Lord, our Saviour (Isaiah 43:3). His position as Lord reminds us of His power. Since He’s our Saviour, we know that His power is there for us. He’s familiar with us and our trouble. As our Saviour, He has given us eternal life.
Pastor and author Tim Keller wrote, “Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.” Because of Jesus, we can be sure that God is with us and for us. By our side in the fire, He thinks of us as precious, honoured and loved (v.4).
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
365-day plan: Joshua 10:1-15
Read 1 Peter 1:7 and consider the connection between trials we face and our faith in God.
Why are we tempted to believe that God has abandoned us when we face difficulty? Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus said “I am with you always” (Mathew 28:20). What does this mean to you today?