But now, this is what the LORD says– He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; YOU ARE MINE.” (Isaiah 43:1)
It is easy to rejoice in the Lord when everything goes well with us. Yes, it is, but our faith is tested when things don’t go the very way we planned things to be.
Thank God He gave us weapons of our warfare to stand against all odds. He deposited in us the Holy Spirit Who reveals and reminds us what Jesus has done at the cross that as we recall and remember, we are graced to stand, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Because He called us to Himself let alone called us to be HIS, it is indeed He Who empowers us to count it all JOY when we find ourselves in the midst of challenges. He takes pleasure in strengthening us whom He calls His own. He surely knows that the JOY we draw from His presence becomes our sustaining strength.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, made us His home, Who makes our hearts sit still as we continue to discover what it means to belong to Him. Our identity in Him as He says, “YOU ARE MINE!” is to be unveiled and experienced every single day of our lives. His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect for our weakness and is readily available in His presence NOW! Faith is NOW!
Truly, peace isn’t the absence of troubles, trials, tribulations and challenges. Rather, PEACE is the presence of Jesus in our midst. It is He Who calms and walks on stormy seas and when we find ourselves IN HIM, He carries us above the waters.
I love recalling the scriptures about Peter walking on water. At Jesus’ word, “COME”, he stepped out of the boat and walked on water. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31)
Think with me on this. When this thing happened, it was before Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. That means, the Holy Spirit still has not taken up residence in the disciples’ hearts. BUT NOW, you and I are temples of the Holy Spirit. All who believe in Jesus and His finished work at the cross have been washed clean, made blameless by the power of His blood, and made worthy to become His dwelling place. Him in us and us in Him is one powerful mystery that is beyond comprehension when revealed by the Holy Spirit. Truly our hearts can go where our minds cannot.
NOW, when Jesus calls us, “Come!” and invites us to step out of the boat, always keep in mind this unmatched truth of being ONE with Him, that when He walks on water or stormy seas, so do you and I. “As He is, so are we in this world.” (1John 4:17) This is the confidence that we have in Him. We may be surrounded by hopelessness, impossibilities, or what have you, but the good news is that we can look up and focus on Jesus who promised to be ALWAYS with us, in us and for us.
When He promised, “YOU ARE MINE!” in Isaiah 43:1, mind the next verses that follow.
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.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:2-3)
I was watching a video of a farmer’s testimony. He prayed to own a rice field that he may be able to feed not only his family but everyone who comes to him who is without food. Yes, the Lord answered his prayers. People from everywhere who are in need of food come to him and are always fed.
Without anyone noticing, not even his wife, he always goes to the middle of the farm, kneels down and prays. He keeps telling the Lord, “This farm is Yours”.
One day, a very strong storm came. He cried out to pray for protection and the Lord whispered into his heart, “Don’t be afraid! This farm is MINE!”
The next day, after the storm has passed, they went to the rice field. Lo and behold, although theirs was located at the lower part of a huge field which was expected to be flooded was not affected, except 5% along the borders. Praise God! The surrounding fields were all damaged. The Lord put a hedge of protection around the farmer’s field. Why? Because it is His.
As I was meditating on the words, “YOU ARE MINE!”, mind you, if parents who take ownership of their children and take extremely care of them, HOW MUCH MORE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WHO IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH HIS CHILDREN? No wonder His word says, “whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8) Hmmmm … try touching someone’s eye! Then you’ll know what the reaction of the person will be.
Jesus has already won everything for us. The enemy is a defeated foe. He is under the feet of Jesus, therefore he is under our feet because we are IN CHRIST! With this revealed knowledge that renews our thinking, SURELY it will shoot adrenaline into our souls that will cause us to REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS, and again I say, REJOICE!!! (Philippians 4:4)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You, for making us Your own precious possession, the apple of Your eye and the object of Your affection. Thank You for so loving us by giving us Your Son, Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for constantly revealing to us deeper truths of who we are, Abba Daddy God’s sons and daughters, Whom He delights in taking care of. Amen!