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“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called 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 43:1b-3a
God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, is reassuring the Jewish people that He alone is their God and that they should not fear pagan invaders—that He is with them. Just two chapters prior to this verse you will find the oft-quoted Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” In chapter 43, Isaiah’s writing states that God is not only with them, but will see them through.
There are several definitions of the word “through”—“in one side and out the opposite” and “from the beginning to the end of”, depending on the context. How do we get through deployment? How do we get through the waters of discouragement? through the rivers of loneliness? through the fire of fear? The same God who is in me (the Holy Spirit) is the one who will get me through. And I will get through because of faith.
It is a beautiful thing to see a couple get through something that challenges them in every area of their lives (like a deployment)—and because of faith they do not give up. When the deployment is over, they can look back over the months of discouragement/loneliness/fear and say with confidence, “My God took me through this.” And what if things did not go easily—struggles with children/finances/ temptations/health? I have seen God give grace, forgiveness, redemption, comfort, patience, mercy, discernment, strength, wisdom, perspective. . . . LOVE. Faith to persevere and endure is ours. . . in abundance, but only because of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes it is only a step at a time, a day at a time (or an hour at a time). . . .but God is there to walk beside us or to carry us. Sometimes we endure because someone gives us a word of encouragement—at just the right time. Sometimes we read a truth from the Word that speaks to us—at just the right time. Sometimes we see beauty in nature, music, the smile of a child. . .and our hearts are lifted. Sometimes a friend or battle buddy comes along to help us—at just the right time. Sometimes we are given an opportunity to help someone else going through the same trials—and we are strengthened in the process. Sometimes we are reminded of His faithfulness in the past, and that encourages us in the present to give us hope for the future. All of these provisions are gifts from the Lord and demonstrate His love for us.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans, writes of this provision: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword (or deployments)?. . . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (including deployment and reintegration challenges), will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:35, 37-39.
When I think about the word “through”, and how (because of God’s power) we can get through difficult times, I am reminded of the song Through it All. In 1975 the songwriter, Andrae Crouch, was recorded singing it at a Billy Graham Crusade. Here is the link in YouTube. Listen carefully and you will hear that the last verse of the song is:
“I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through;
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know that He could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.
Through it all, Through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, Through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”
From start to finish, God can get us through. In our society of “quick fixes” and “instant gratification”, our military members are showing the world what perseverance developed during the testing of faith looks like. With God’s help, you are the example of how to go through hard times and come out victors. Your faith in your families, your battle buddies, your friends, your leadership, your training, your mission, and your God are an inspiration to all of us, and give us all hope.
There is another definition of “through”, and it is “because of,” found quoted above in Romans 8:37. So let me close with one of the most well-known of Scriptures that uses this other definition of “through.” “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) To God be the glory!
Questions to Share:
1. What inspired Andrae Crouch to write Through it All? (answer in the video link)
2. Can you name one thing in the past that God has gotten you through as a couple, and how He did that?