“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.'” Isaiah 43:1-2
The reality of the presence of adversity in life is a given. Some Christian teaching mistakenly proclaims that this life of faith somehow entitles us to a smooth and painless ride through life, and that if we’re not traveling first class it’s only because we don’t have enough faith.
Consider Isaiah’s words: “When you pass through the waters … and through the rivers … when you walk through fire.” In addition remember what is written in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” None of that sounds like adversity has been avoided. However, in each of these places we are promised by the Lord, “I will be with you.”
The question that begs to be asked at this point is: Which is a greater reality, the intensity of a trial or the presence of the Lord with us in that trial? This question sometimes cannot be answered until we have stood in the midst of the rising waters and experienced Him with us. It is then that the knowing moves from head to heart and the impact of the adversity lessens in the magnitude of God’s presence.
Father please help us to craft our marriage in the reality of Your words in Ecclesiastes 4: “Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Let us let You be our third strand, Lord; weave us in Your strength that we might be held in Your hope, no matter the storm.
For devotions to help make your faith — and your marriage — stronger each week of the year, see Jim and Jean Daly’s book The Best Year of Your Marriage: 52 devotions to bring you closer.