I’ve got some encouraging words to share with you today. I’ll start with this:
Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.
At some point, you may have thought to yourself, God’s got to be done with me. I have been disobedient. I’m sure God has just crossed me off His list.
God’s people (the nation of Israel) could have easily thought that was their fate. They had disobeyed God and refused to walk in His ways. But look what God says to them in Isaiah 43:1…
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.”
And the good news is that these words from the heart of God apply just as much to us today as they did to the people in Isaiah’s day. This should bring great comfort to your heart. The Creator of the universe loves you, despite what you’ve done or what you’ve failed to do. How much does He love you?
The Message Bible puts it this way in Isaiah 43:3–4…
“Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.”
That’s how much you are loved—and even more than that! Because He didn’t just trade all of creation, He traded the life of His own Son for you.
Because He loves you, God gives you wonderful, enlightening, full-of-hope promises. And that brings me to the other words of encouragement I believe God wants you to hear today.
Look what He says in Isaiah 43:2…
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.”
A flood here represents sudden calamities and problems that come where you feel overwhelmed—and a lot is going on these days that can leave us feeling that way.
So here are three words of encouragement for making it through the floods in your life.
First, make God your first line of defense, not your last resort.
Psalm 18:2 says,
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
God wants to be your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your strength, your shield, your salvation, and your stronghold. He wants you to go to Him first, not after everything else has failed.
I don’t think God is honored if we only come to Him after we’ve exhausted the arm of the flesh. He is a merciful God, and He will help you in those situations, but He is honored when we go to Him first—before anything or anyone else.
Second, if you want to make it through the flood, walk in love.
Song of Solomon 8:7 says, “Many waters cannot quench love nor can the floods drown it,” and 1 Corinthians 13:8 reminds us that “love never fails.”
No matter what you’re facing, if you respond in love rather than getting cynical or bitter, you will get through your flood. And then there’s one more thing you need to do to get through the flood. It’s just as crucial.
Third, obey the Word.
You’re probably familiar with the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24–27, but look at them here with fresh eyes…
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Both of these men heard the sayings of Jesus, but only one obeyed. That man was a doer, and he laid his foundation on a rock. I want to encourage you today to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
And as you obey the Word, you will make it through the flood.
My friend, as a Christian you are not exempt from the floods and fires of life. God, however, does promise to be with you in the floods that try to overwhelm you and in the fires that threaten to destroy you. The Scriptures are filled with guidance to help you.
In his message “Getting Through Life’s Floods and Fires,” Pastor Bayless dives more deeply into each of the points above to help you rise above life’s floods with God’s help, and offers three words of wisdom from the Scriptures to help you pass through the fires you face. This resource is our way to thank you for your generous support today to share the amazing love of our living Jesus with this broken world through the global ministry of Answers with Bayless Conley.