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. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you. Isaiah 43:1-5 (ESV)
Dear heavenly Father, your Word is solace for the sad and ballast for the bewildered, a firm rock for the freshly rocked, and bread from heaven for the hungry on earth. This isn’t theory, the wisdom of sages, or just true and good theology. It’s our reality, and we praise you. You’ve made promises you alone can keep, and you do not lie. No god is as near or good, merciful or mighty as you—no matter the storm or season.
As you have spoken clearly through Isaiah, you created us and are redeeming us, all for your glory. You summoned us by name, calling us to life in the gospel. You gave us a new name—“Mine”. There’s no sweeter, more perspective-giving or peace-generating name you could call us. You never promised we wouldn’t experience floods and torrents, fires and flames. But you have promised to be with us. To know your great affection for us, and your absolute sovereignty over everything is enough, Father.
Indeed, we know ourselves to be precious, honored and greatly loved, because you gave Jesus in exchange for us. Though he was rich, yet for our sakes, he became poor, so that through his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). We praise you for the indescribable gift of the gospel (2 Cor. 9:13).
And since you didn’t spare your own Son, certainly we can trust you graciously to give us everything else we need (Rom. 8:32)—in current storms and future fires. We don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone. You are with us and you are for us. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and grace-full name.