“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
We continue our journey together today, seeking to be women who are found on their knees, moving from brokenness to surrender to trust. I love the visual of the storm – passing through the waters and the rivers with the promise that God will not allow them to overwhelm us. Not once will He leave us, not ever will He forsake us. Yet, trust is a difficult thing, especially when the storms of life are raging around us. Our natural instinct is not to trust an unseen God when we feel that we are in survival mode. Rather, we more than likely find ourselves questioning God, wondering why He’s allowing these things to happen and not understanding where He is in the midst of it all. I know this thought process because I’ve been there. It wasn’t until after I had offered my brokenness to the Lord in surrender that I had to learn what it meant to truly trust Him. It was a daily battle choosing to trust Him when in fear I was tempted to dwell on the past, thus removing my eyes off of the Lord and failing to see that He was with me every step of the way. I must say that trusting the Lord became easier with each passing day as I began to search out His Word for truth. You see, God’s Word declares who He is, and throughout its pages, it is filled with promises of God’s love, kindness, forgiveness, and goodness towards us. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.
I want to take you to a passage today, one that you are probably very familiar with. This passage is often quoted and referenced. You may know parts of it from memory. I know many people that have portions of it hanging on their walls in their homes. Grab your bible and turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13. I know, some of you might already be thinking, “Oooh, I know this one! This is the “love chapter”. When I sit down to spend time reading God’s Word, I often ask the Lord to reveal something new to me that I haven’t seen before, even if it’s a passage I’ve read numerous times. It’s amazing how He always answers that prayer! I pray that a new light is shed on this portion of scripture today and that you are encouraged in a fresh way. As we’ve all heard many times, trust is earned. I hope to show you through this passage today just one of the many reasons why God deserves our trust. Whether you find yourself amidst the storm or you’ve come out of it and find yourself on dry land, these truths are for you. You may think that trusting God right now seems impossible and far too difficult. You’ve chosen to trust others before only to find that they have broken your trust. Each time, you feel your heart harden a little more, and the thought of every trusting another again seems further and further out of reach. The mistake we often make is to assume that God will fail us just like man has. We assume human tendencies and characteristics on the God of the universe, the one who spoke you and I into existence, and the one who chose to place His love on us. He is so far above us, so set apart from us, and unlike any other, He is perfect in all of His dealings with humanity. I challenge you today to open your heart to receive the only love that will never fail you, the only love that will never betray you, the only love that is completely trustworthy. Get your eyes on a copy of God’s Word right now. Stop and read 1 Corinthians 13. You may have read it before, but right now, just pause and read it again. Read it as if you’re reading it for the first time. I’ll be here when you’re done…..
What a perfect description of perfect love! I remember reading this chapter for the first time when I was in 3rd grade. At the time, I thought, “Wow, that’s some pretty amazing love.” Ever since then, I often referred to this passage as a “How To” guide on loving others and nothing more. Don’t get me wrong, it is that, but it is so much more. God is defining perfect love in these beautifully descriptive words. He’s describing His love that He has for us. His love toward us is patient and kind. His patience chooses to withhold from us what we rightly deserve, and His kindness offers His grace and mercy instead. His love does not envy or boast; it is not proud or rude. His love is not self-seeking or easily angered. Aren’t you grateful that God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love? Psalm 86:15 (along with numerous other verses) declares God’s patient love toward us. And His love doesn’t end there! 1 Corinthians 13 goes on to proclaim that His love keeps no record of wrongs. When He forgives us in His love, He chooses to wipe our slate clean, removing our sin from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). This is our God, the God of abounding, steadfast love to all who call on His name. Having been reminded of His amazing, perfect love for you, can you choose to trust Him today? Can you choose to trust this Love, the only perfect love? No matter the brokenness, no matter the storm, His love is trustworthy. His love is faithful to restore all things. His love will never leave you alone. His love will never walk out on you. His love will never wrongfully accuse you or betray you. His love will never spitefully use you. His love WILL satisfy, restore, and heal. In the midst of the storm, whatever it may be, choose to trust in His unfailing love.