I have so many favourite Bible passages, but here is one of my top five
But now, this is what the Lord says –
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
Reading this passage, I notice three things:
- God speaks to us – through his Word, the Holy Bible; through ‘still small whispers’ if we keep our hearts and minds attuned to his presence; and through others – our friends and family and trusted advisors who sometimes speak such wisdom that you know it is from God, and you know you must listen and heed the advice. So as I am reading this, I read this as a personal conversation with my Father in heaven. And it calms my spirit, and encourages me to breathe easier through another rough day.
- God made you, cherishes you, and claims you as his son or daughter. You are more special than you realise. In this day and age, where social media, internet and E! News, and the like give us almost unrestricted access to Hollywood stars, we are front-row eyewitnesses to the rise and fall of the ‘greats’ in society. We aspire to be who we are not, and follow trends and fashions that we may not adore nor be able to afford, but nonetheless will ‘baa’ in unison because that celeb is wearing it. I do not mean to be crass or judgmental. I just want you to be aware of your worth as an individual apart from societal pressures to conform. I have always loved being a ‘non-conformist’ in so many areas, yet there are still lots of areas where I am sure I bleat along just as merrily. My point: be content with you, because God loves you where you are, just as you are, no strings attached. You are his handiwork and you are just right in his sight. “Whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You are worth so much, God sent his one and only son to die on a cross for your sins. He died for you! And with this fact, I choose to confess my sins to God, follow Him wholeheartedly and live a righteous life. How will you respond?
- God says that we will experience rough waters, fierce fires, and disastrously difficult times. But he caveats that He “will be with you…you will not be burned the flames will not set you ablaze”. As much as there may be stinging and you may feel choked and completely and utterly consumed by the fires of life, God has got you.
When you lose your job, or put on 50lbs in a year and feel sick and sorry for yourself; whether you lose a loved one, or feel as though all your hopes, dreams and aspirations are falling out of the sky; when nothing seems to go right, and you see more pain than pleasure, when you can’t see the wood through the trees (as the saying goes), stay strong. Persist. Remain in him. Remember, he does not give you more than you can bare. And our omnipresent God is always there. So lean on him, and he will keep you.
P.S. I previously wrote a post inspired by The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (https://abigailirozuru.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/one-of-lifes-simple-lessons/ ). He is such a great author, and this book inspires me again and again to pursue my dreams. I’d give it a read if I were you! I’m about to re-read it in June for another injection of inspiration, encouragement and knowledge…