Through the hardest times, we can fully trust in the unwavering nature of God.
While sitting in the dark pit of grieving a child, I discovered God. Just after Austin, our three-year-old son, died from strep throat, not only did I finally turn to Jesus, but I also came to know who God is. Even as I type this, I’m struck by how ridiculous that might sound – as if a person could ever know God.
Yet, I believe it’s possible with every part of my heart and soul. It doesn’t make logical sense in my mind, but I know it’s true. We can know God. Truly know Him, not just know about Him.
One way to understand God’s nature is through the Bible. Specifically, prophecy turned my heart from skeptical seeker to sold out for Jesus. Studying the book of Isaiah changed the way I encountered God.
In Isaiah 43, after telling the Jewish people they were about to face destruction, the Lord comforts them by reminding them who He is:
But now, this is what the Lord says, He who is your Creator, Jacob, And He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)
Let these words minister to your hurting places. God made you. He redeemed you. He calls you by name. God calls you His!
Even when we suffer, He will be with us:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. (Isaiah 43:2-3)
Why would Almighty God cherish us enough to be with us through our suffering? Our human minds have trouble picturing such a relationship. We aren’t very good at being around another person’s suffering. Very few of us are willing to sit next to someone who is in a dark pit. But God is and He does.
Why would the all-powerful, Almighty God promise to come into our pit?
Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other people in your place and other nations in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:2-4; emphasis mine)
There it is in black and white. The words all humans long to hear: I love you. God whispered lovingly into my shattered soul as I read these verses over and over again: I love you. You are rare and valuable (the meaning of the word used for “precious” here). You are honored in My sight. I love you so much I would do anything for you.
The Holy One of Israel loves us as His children. He will protect us at all costs:
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” (Isaiah 43:5-7)
God hasn’t changed. He would not forsake the Jewish people, and He will not forsake the new covenant with us through Jesus. He still loves His people. He would still do anything for us. He is and will continue to call His sons and daughters from the ends of the earth.
I believe Isaiah 43 is filled with prophecies about Jesus. I think God was pointing to the coming Savior even though these ancient words were written more than 600 years before Jesus was born.
Check out what God said next:
Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And those who are deaf, even though they have ears. All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses so that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, “It is true.” (Isaiah 43:8-9)
Prophecy was provided to us to help us with our unbelief. Prophecy is God’s tool, His evidence, that proves He alone is God. No one else can declare things before they happen.
Finally, hear God’s voice as He tells us why He sent Jesus:
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, only I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God. (Isaiah 43:10-12; emphasis mine)
God tells us, plain and simple, that He wants us to know and believe Him. He sent Jesus so that we could know Him and believe Him and understand there is no other God. God wants us to know, in the depths of our suffering souls, that there is no one else who loves, or saves, or redeems like Him.
Through the prophet Isaiah, we can also know that our salvation, our eternal life, is secure:
Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13; emphasis mine)
The minute I admitted I was a sinner and put my salvation in the hands of Jesus, God acted. He accepted the blood of Jesus as the penalty for my sins. He saved me. Who could reverse it?
Me? Certainly not. No matter how bad I might mess up, I cannot reverse the atonement of Christ’s death on the cross. What a glorious, promise-keeping God we serve!
Read more about God’s Plan here.
Kim Erickson began following Christ after the death of her three-year-old son. Jesus and the Bible saved Kim from the pit of grieving the loss of a child. Kim began a writing and teaching ministry to help other women find outrageous joy from a deeper relationship with God. You can learn more at www.KimAErickson.com.
Kim is the author of His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours, Surviving Sorrow: A Mother’s Guide to Living with Loss, and Predicting Jesus: A Six-Week Study of the Messianic Prophecies of Isaiah. Kim is an attorney and kindergarten teacher. She lives in Florida with her husband, Devin, and son, Ethan.