You Don't Go Through Tough Times Alone
Bible Reading: Isaiah 43: 1-7
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2
Ponder this: If Jesus materialized out of thin air and sat in the seat next to you while your fifth-period teacher droned on, what do you suppose he would say? You know that he’s incredibly interested in a dose, personal friendship with you. So maybe he would say something like this:
”I’m your Friend. Even though you can’t see me, I’m with you all the time. About two thousand years ago Matthew wrote down in chapter 11, verses 28-29, something I said that’s still true today: ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Isn’t that what you’re really looking for-someone who will face life with you as your Friend? I refer to it as being yoked together. We’re like a couple of water buffaloes plowing in the same direction.
“You might not guess that I know what loneliness, discouragement, and sadness are all about. Isaiah reminds you in chapter 53, verses 2-3, that the way I looked didn’t wow people. I was also ‘despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.’ Doesn’t that tell you that 1 know what it’s like to be looked at as a loser?
“When I called twelve disciples and began to minister in public, my own brothers didn’t believe in me. Mark tells about that in chapter 3, verse 21. So I know what it’s like to be rejected by your own family. I was mocked and ridiculed when I did what I knew was right. In fact, I lived for long stretches of my adult life on earth among people who didn’t like me at all. The religious leaders hated me. They lurked around me, looking for information they could use to slander me-or worse yet, to have me killed.
“I spent forty days and nights in the wilds with no one else around, so I know what it’s like to be alone. A lot of that time was great, because I enjoyed my Father’s presence. But I faced fierce temptations from the devil himself. I know how it feels to have negative thoughts hurled at you by the evil one.
“You know what? I wasn’t afraid of being alone because I knew my Father was always present. I wasn’t ever really alone. I want you to know that you’re not alone either. I promise you I am with you whether you feel my presence or not. If I say it’s true, you can count on it. I don’t lie. I am with you.”
REFLECT: What does Christ know about the tough times you face? How does it help you that he has promised that you won’t go through your tough times alone?
PRAY: When I feel alone, Jesus, help me remember that you’re right here with me.
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