By Jodi Thomas
Lately, I’ve gotten to a point where I dread turning on the news. Regardless of your network affinity, when you hit the remote, more than likely bad news will flicker across the screen. The calamity tsunami of late has overwhelmed us all—Harvey & Irma, the Las Vegas shooting horror, the Golden State set on fire. Do you ever wonder where God is in all of this? And what would He say?
As I watched the California fires burn and the charred remains of entire neighborhoods, my prayer for those people was that God would pour out His comfort, strength, and hope into their hearts. That He would be with them. And that is exactly what He promises in Isaiah 43:
1But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2When 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.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
God doesn’t promise that there won’t be floods or fires. In fact, He promises that there will be such calamities. But we see He promises to be with us in the fire and the flood. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” See what He says? In this world you will have trouble.
There is 100% certainty that in this life there will be trouble. But Jesus promises He is greater than the trouble. He says in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Jesus has overcome the trouble, and He is with us in the trouble. Remember His name? Immanuel. God with us.
Let’s not forget Who is saying this. The One who Lost It All, including his very life, in order to give YOU everything. . . or, everything that matters. Life. Love. Peace. Hope. Faith. Strength.
So, what do we do in the face of calamity? If we keep our eyes fixed on our problem, we will lose hope. But if we fix our eyes on God, we can see that He is bigger than any problem we face.
The psalmist in Psalm 121 shows us where to look:
1lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
We look up to the Lord, our helper and maker.
1 Timothy 6:15 says He is the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” In other words, God is the maker, sustainer, and controller of all things. Not only is He Sovereign and knows all that the (troubled) future contains, but He is our helper and our sustainer.
So, where is God? He is with you. And what would He say? Fear not. You are mine. The only way to get through these times of trouble is to take our eyes off ourselves and our messy circumstances and lift them up to the One who promises to be with us. We can face the uncertain future with the certainty that God will help us and strengthen us when we need it. Lift your eyes to Him who loves you; your future and your very life can be trusted with Him.