Last week we learned about why Faith, Hope, and Love are so critical to the Way of Life Christ taught us. Hopefully, it helped you keep a better perspective when dealing with people. Something else that really helps me when times are difficult and circumstances are almost unbearable in remembering a simple truth.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “Now this is what the LORD says-- the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel--" Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.”
I love this verse because of how much it comforts me. In case you aren’t aware, you are Jacob and Israel. Jacob wrestled with God, and afterwards God changed his name to Israel (which means I have wrestled with God). A lot of people say that God caused Jacob (Israel) to walk with a limp for the rest of his life because of something Jacob had done wrong. Please don’t believe that about God. Jacob actually did what God wanted. So why did Jacob limp for the rest of his life? Because God changed his name to “I wrestled God,” and it would be crazy for him not to limp. Just think about that for a second, every person who would ever see him afterward would see him limping and would ask him. His answer would be, “I’m Israel.” God didn’t punish Jacob, He blessed him. He was a walking testimony of a relationship with God… and so are you.
Now, let me address what the actual verse says. The Lord, the Creator, He says, “Do not be afraid, do not allow fear to enter your thoughts. I have Redeemed you…” Redeemed is a beautiful word. If you look up the definition, you will find this: gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment. Knowing that you have been redeemed by God will remove all fear, and fear can look like a lot of things… but His redemption of you set you free from those things. If you are lacking peace, if fear overwhelms you, then focus on the fact that God has redeemed you. There is nothing that can harm you, because He is for you!
After redemption, the verse says, “I have called you by your name.” Wow! What a beautiful revelation that is! God. The Creator of EVERYTHING, who with a single breath created the universe! That same God, He uses His voice, the same voice that created everything, He uses that voice to call you by your name! God, the Creator knows your Name! I don’t know about you, but that does something for me. I know when circumstances are tough, when people do things I don’t like, when bad stuff happens to me or my family, it is so difficult to not get mad or frustrated. But God knows your name, and is personally calling you to remember that you are redeemed.
The last thing the verse says is probably the most impactful truth you can ever know: You are His. He has chosen you, dear friend. He loves you. He considers you to be part of His family. You are His. I pray that this revelation sinks to the deepest part of your soul, that you would be able to truly rest in it. It is what allowed Jesus to sleep in a boat during a storm that was so bad that it was about to sink the boat. The others were terrified, they were freaking out, and they had to physically wake Jesus up (He was sleeping in a boat with no cover with high winds, huge waves, and rain pouring down on top of Him) to save them. Why was He able to sleep? Because He had heard His Father say, “This is My Son…” Jesus knew He belonged to His Father. I hope you do to… because He is calling to you right now, and He is using your name.
Written by a few for the many.