A few thousand years ago, God made a promise to us. You might be surprised to know this. Here it is:
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 43:2
Notice He does not say He will keep us from deep waters or great trouble. He does not say we will not feel the painful heat of fiery trials, He just says that He will get us through it. God has never promised us pain-free living. But He does promise to help us get through whatever we have to go through on this earth.
Knowing a promise and believing a promise are two different things. Knowing a promise is simply information for your brain to hold onto. Believing in it and putting faith in it, on the other hand, creates trust and affects how you live.
You’ve probably witnessed or experienced the team-building exercise of a “trust fall.” That’s when someone stands behind you to catch you and you let yourself fall blindly back into their (hopefully) waiting arms. Knowing someone is behind you with their arms out isn’t going to get you to tip over backwards - but believing they’ll actually catch you, will. Action requires that you believe it. You need to trust they will do what they say. Then, and only then, will you relinquish control and fall into the arms waiting to catch you.
That’s how God’s promises are. You can read them, hear them, know them and commit them to memory, but until you believe, have faith and trust, in them, they are merely information for your brain to hold onto. Belief, faith, trust – those are action words. They demand a response.
There’s a story in the Bible that demonstrates this as well as any I can think of. In the book of Daniel, three young Jews were serving in government and were threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar to be thrown in a blazing furnace if they didn’t bow down and worship a gold image of him. Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were forced to act on a promise they knew of their God. Refusing to worship anyone other than their one true God, the three men courageously walked into the blazing furnace, and when the king looked into the fire (that was so hot it burned up people outside of the furnace), he was awestruck by what he saw – not three young men burning up in the fire, but four figures walking around in the fire! Four! God had joined them in the fire – and they did not burn up.
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Daniel 3:26-27
God promises that every time you walk through the water, rivers, or fire, He will be with you.
Seek God’s promises. Learn them. Believe them. Trust builds courage, and courage helps you face whatever lies ahead. God’s not going to drop you. He’s got this.