”Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 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 43:1-3.
Recently I read that Jim Elliot, a missionary who was martyred along with three others by the Auca Indians in Ecuador, claimed this passage of Scripture for his favorite. The Scriptures must have been emblazoned upon his spirit as he ministered in the remotest parts of Ecuador…truly words he lived by.
When I think of famous men and women of God who have laid their lives on the line to share the Gospel, I shrink in embarrassment at my faint moments of frail servitude. My momentary trials and tribulations pale in comparison to the true servants like Jim Elliot, Lottie Moon, Myers Mallory, Adoniram Judson and countless others.
A new year has begun! To some it offers dreams of grandiose achievements, to others only nightmares of past failures which cast a cold, dark shadow on any hopes for future bliss. How easy it is to allow past deficiencies to overtake our thoughts plunging us into a frozen lake of murky misgivings, that even the most devout optimistic soul is unable to melt its depressive frigid grip.
I am comforted by the fact that even the great men and women of faith suffered from bouts of despondency. Elijah, Jonah, Job, Moses, Jeremiah, and David all endured moments of dispiritedness. If you find yourself to be among the number of dejected souls this January, you are not alone. However, there is hope!
Our circumstances might cast us into the pit, but our outlook can be transformed by the renewing of our minds as Romans 12 reminds us. Maybe we need to spend less time staring in the mirror of judgmental scrutiny and bask in the promises of God! I know that phrase wreaks of Pollyanna idealism, however a simple turn from dark introspection to the Light of Hope illuminates a darkened soul immensely.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
For I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Psalm 143:8 (NIV).
TRUST! The object of our trust impacts our outlook with eternal ramifications!