This devotional thought is not meant for everybody, as a matter of fact is was really meant as a word of encouragement for me. So if you are not going through any difficulties, if this year been just one blessing after another, if you can’t remember that last trial that drove you to your knees than this message might not resonate with you. BUT if you have found yourself flat on your face holding onto more faith than facts, if uncertainty is your only certainty, if being led by God has lead you to what seems to be a dead end – then I want to speak to you for the next few moments on a topic I have entitled – It is I
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. Ps. 34:19
God does not promise that His people will not have trouble. He does not say that they will never be afflicted, but He promises to bring them out of all their afflictions. In some cases the deliverance may not be complete in this life. God did not keep those young Hebrew captives out of the fire, but “the form of the fourth” was with them. He did not keep Daniel out of the lions’ den, but his angel delivered him there. He did not keep the apostle Paul out of the storm, but His angel was with him in the storm. Of the apostle Peter, bound with two chains in the innermost prison, it is written: “Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter.” (Acts 12:7)
It is indeed true that “upright people face many troubles” BUT the righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their trouble (Ps. 34:17). In observing Job’s poor state Eliphaz responses and says, in Job 5:7, People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire. What a dark image of life on this earth, made darker by the fact that experience bears it out as true. But there is something more to it than this. The old preacher, Dr. Edward Judson, put it this way – “suffering and success go together. If you are succeeding without suffering, it is because others before you have suffered. If you are suffering without succeeding, it is that others after you may succeed.”
It was in the very midst of the storm when, to the disciples in the little boat , everything seemed lost, that Jesus appeared walking on the water and said, “It is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27).
Charlotte Elliott, author of 150 hymns the most familiar of which is Just As I am without one plea, wrote in spite of being described as weak and feeble in body. In her reflections of Matthew 14 she penned these lyrics found in our old hymnal Christ in Song (#700)…
When waves of trouble round me swell, My soul is not dismayed; I hear a voice I know full well, - Tis I; be not afraid. When black the threat'ning skies appear, And storms my path invade, Those accents tranquilize each fear, "'Tis I; be not afraid." There is a gulf that must be crossed; Saviour, be near to aid! Whisper, when my frail boat is tossed, "'Tis I; be not afraid."
I encourage you today to claim these words of prayer by David, found in Psalm 40:13. Claim them for yourself and for your life circumstance, or for someone else in their time of need and deliverance. The verse says – Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord makes haste to help me (Ps. 40:13) and take comfort that God will deliver, and that he will hurry to help.