Isaiah 43God is always present with us

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2NIV)

In times of trouble, we find it hard to sense or experience God’s presence. The current situation can get us worried about losing job, getting sick or worsening financial circumstances.
Many of David’s Psalms are about him not experiencing God especially in difficult situations. In Psalm 10:1 he says, “Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” We can be encouraged that even David who was very prayerful and described as a man after God’s own heart, experienced such moments as well.
But it is good to know that whether we experience God’s presence or not, He is always there with us, in good times and even in times when we face difficulty or trouble. He says in Isaiah, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2NIV)

When we do not sense God’s presence, lets us not feel guilty or discouraged and feel like it is because I have done something wrong, so God does not love me enough. Instead let us acknowledge His presence by keeping on praying, reading His Word and seeking the Holy Spirit. Let us stay in His presence and reflect on memories of the past moments and experiences where we have deeply felt His intimate presence. This way, His will empowers us and help us to grow to be mature Christians.

God does not promise to give us easy lives. Until the new creation comes, we will struggle and suffer. Yet he does promise to be with us in our hard times: protecting us, comforting us, strengthening us, giving us wisdom. This is the good news!

Prayer
Gracious God, how I thank you for the fact of your presence in my life, especially in times of difficulty. There have been so many times when I have hung onto this promise for dear life, trusting you for patience, strength, and courage. How grateful I am for your help . . . and even more, for your presence.

Lord, you know that sometimes it is hard for me to sense your presence, especially when I am in pain or distress. You can seem a million miles away. So, help me, I pray, to be aware of you. Open my heart to know you even in the midst of difficulties. May I be attentive to the still, small voice of your Spirit, even and especially when I need you most. Amen.