“… the One who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, 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. …” Isaiah 43:1-3 (NLT)
If you’ve ever doubted how much your life matters to God, just look at the cross! God says, “You’re worth dying for!” Even before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God revealed His thoughts about you and me. Although this passage in the Old Testament speaks specifically to Israel, it has a spiritual application for us today. It says the One who created you cares about you! It’s a promise of significance! Our lives matter to God! Just consider the description of His concern for you from what Isaiah writes, “… the One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.”
To ransom is to obtain the release of a captive by making a payment. When we were imprisoned to our past or present hurts, habits, and hang-ups, God sent His One and only Son to offer His own life in our place as a ransom for our sins! 1 Peter 1:18 says, “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver.”
Then God says in Isaiah, “I have called you by name; you are Mine. …” Isaiah 43:1b (NLT)
That statement is about as clear-cut as it could be! Your life matters to God! You are special to Him! He calls you by name! If you are a Christian, you bear His name!
But that’s not all! In our promise for today from Isaiah, God adds, “When you go through deep waters, 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. …” Isaiah 43:2-3 (NLT)
I used to think that Jesus was a bridge over troubled water like the song by Simon & Garfunkel; but I’ve discovered that, even though my life matters to God, it doesn’t exempt me from times when I’m in deep water. Jesus is not a bridge over the troubled water, but He has been – and remains to be – a pathway through them! The comfort He offers is found in the promise “… I will be with you.” There have been times I thought I would drown, but Jesus brought me through the troubled water and made my faith that much stronger as I learned to trust in Him. When you go through deep waters and you can’t touch bottom, know that God is with you.
Troubled water will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you try to swim in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. But, if you invite the Lord to go with you, He will protect you. Are you going through “rivers of difficulty” or “the fire of oppression?” Invite the “Lord your God” to join you! He knows your name! He will bring you through it. Find your significance in Him!