God’s promise is that He will be with us through the trials and fires of life. Not that He will keep us from them, nor remove us from them.
This is a promise I believe all too often we fail to remember. Instead, we resist the struggles, question whether God cares, and believe lies concerning God.
In our three years in Nepal, I’ve seen the Lord be with us through so much.
He was with our family through two major devastating earthquakes in 2015. He was with me for the weeks and months following when I struggled to sleep at night out of fear that another would strike. His Word comforted my heart, strengthened my resolve, and enabled me to press on.
The Lord was with us through the unofficial blockade with India in 2016. When all cooking gas, petrol, food items were unavailable because of the blockade. He was with us as we got creative with our resources, became thankful for the small things, and enabled us to endure to the end.
This past year the Lord has been with us through changes in our ministry, and has enabled us to seek Him and know His will as we have navigated our course.
The Lord has been with me through the homeschooling of our children, through the sickness of our kids in a foreign land, through the trials and problems we’ve encountered living here.
He has not made our life here a bed of roses, giving us everything we want simply because we obeyed Him to come.
He has not removed us from the trials or problems living here brings forth.
Yet, through it all, He has been with us!
What a misconception we have when we believe the lie that Christians won’t struggle. When we believe the lies that say God owes us. When we believe the lies that the enemy feeds us in the midst of trials, saying God doesn’t care.
The God we serve, has not promised we won’t encounter trials. He has not promised that we will not suffer.
In fact the opposite is true. For Jesus made it clear when He said, just as they persecuted Him, they will persecute us.
Paul relished the trials and struggles of life, not because he was crazy, but because they drew Him closer and closer the Lord.
I do not know the trials you face right now, but God does. Your trials and struggles are different from mine, and yet we face them.
And the truth is, no matter what they are, God is with us through them. Though you may not recognize Him, He is there. Though you may reject His help, He is there. Though you may not understand, He is there.
So I encourage you to reach out to Him. Allow His presence to be your strength. Allow His joy to fill your weary heart. Allow His grace to carry you through!
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. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
(Isaiah 43: 2-5)