"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
- Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT
These are just a few of the verses in the Bible which let us know that we can expect to go through some difficult times while we're on this earth. The good news is, though, that God will be with us so that we will not have to go through them alone. Some Christians seem to think that we shouldn't have to experience trials in this life, and that we should expect God to spare us from them all. But the Bible reveals that there will be times when God allows us to go through hardship and tragedy. Then there are those believers who think that we shouldn't pray for protection or deliverance from suffering, because it's our lot in life to suffer. But the Bible is filled with numerous accounts of God miraculously delivering His people from all kinds of tribulations. It's also filled with promises of protection for believers. Just take a look at Psalm 91, one of the most quoted Bible passages of all time. As children of God, we have the privilege, even the obligation at times, to pray for protection from evil and harm. Not just for ourselves, but for others. While prayers like these will not always be answered the way we expect, we will always be worse off without them.
It is my heartfelt prayer that you would be spared from all difficulties in this life. But since that's not very likely, let me encourage you with some promises from God's Word which will reassure you that God will not abandon you during these times. Psalm 23:4 (NIV) says, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." David knew the Lord would never forsake him in times of trouble, and neither will He forsake you. In John 16:33 (TLB), Jesus warns us to expect difficult times while we're here, and at the same time, He comforts us, saying, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world." In other words, because Jesus lives in us through His Spirit, He will enable us to triumph over every difficulty and challenge that comes our way, as we depend on His wisdom and strength.
If you are in a trial today, please know that God has not left you alone in your time of need. If you are in doubt, ask Him to reveal Himself and His unfailing love for you. You may be surprised how quickly He answers that prayer. Let me encourage you today with a precious promise from Psalm 34:19 (TLB): "The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one"!
Prayer: Lord, sometimes when I go through difficult times, I feel so alone and helpless. At those times, I ask that You wrap Your arms of love around me, and comfort me the way that only You can. Let me feel Your presence in a special way now, and lift me above my circumstances. Teach me how to seek Your face every day of my life, and show me how to draw on Your strength. Thank You that You will never leave me nor forsake me!
- J. M. Farro