He doesn’t say if you pass through the waters. He says when. Trials are inevitable.
If you are married, you are going to go through some challenges. This is the reality of marriage. Marriage is wonderful, but no one ever said it would be easy. In Isiah God gives us an important promise about going through trials:
Isaiah 43:2, “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.”
Water and fire may be opposite of each other, but drowning and burning are both terrible ways to die. God uses the symbolism of these two forces—water and fire—to describe how life can be. He doesn’t say if you pass through the waters. He says when. Trials are inevitable.
Water is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. A river carved the Grand Canyon. Three to five inches of water can actually pick up a car and move it. Because water is so powerful, humans designed and built bridges to avoid it.
But do you know what word is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible? Bridge. There are no bridges in the Bible. I wonder if it’s because there are some things we are just called to walk through instead of walking over.
The same goes for fire. What does fire do? It consumes. It destroys. The Scripture does not say that all fires will be extinguished and everything will be fine. It says the fire will remain and we will walk through it. When we do, God will be with us. He will protect us. We will survive the fire.There are times when the realities of life hit us right between the eyes. When this happens, we have to be able to walk through these moments. Here are three truths to remember as you go through difficult trials.
Flip through it. Later in this passage, Isaiah 43:16 talks about how God “made a way” for His people. That’s past tense. We serve a God who made a way for us in the past and makes a way for us in the future. God is inviting us to take our mental photo albums and flip back through all the moments He cared for us.
When you flip through your past, you will remember His goodness. You’ll remember His faithfulness.
Look through it.
Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
When standing in the middle of trials—in a raging flood or a burning fire—we need to have the ability to look beyond that moment and focus on the promise of what lies ahead.
Once we flip through the past, we can look through our present.
Get through it.
Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The word we translate way means “road” or “path.” When you’re lost, the thing you want most of all is to find a road. It leads you to safety.
The fire may be hot and the rivers are raging, but God is a way-maker. He is working behind the scenes. He is building a road in the wilderness. He is guiding you to safety.
He also provides streams of water in the wasteland. Even though the passage in Isaiah 43:2 talks about the danger of rivers, we also have to remember that water is a source of life.
Ezekiel 47:8-10 describes the river that flows into the Dead Sea. “When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows…where the river flows, everything will live.”
What if He is using the flood to breathe freshness into your marriage?
You may feel that a flood is engulfing your life right now. You may feel like you’re drowning in your marriage. But is it possible that the river that feels so dangerous right now could actually be the life-giving water of a heavenly Father? What if He is using the flood to breathe freshness into your marriage?
Flip through the goodness and faithfulness of God in your life.
Look through the trials and see the hope on the other side.
You may be standing knee-deep in the hard part of life, but you will get through it.
Why? Because God may be using the river to restore life to your marriage. Where the river flows, everything will live. He is not finished with you yet.