When we experience trouble we would be glad if somebody more powerful than the problem is with us but often it seems as if we need to face problems alone. Recently one morning after encountering a severe difficulty, I badly needed support. Instead of my regular Bible routine, I was lead to read Psalm 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” It felt that God Himself was speaking to me and assuring me that whatever the trouble was, He will be with me through the trouble, deliver me and also honour me in the eyes of those who had troubled and slandered me. I was also reminded of how when Daniels’ friends were thrown in the fiery furnace, God Himself came and kept them company and did not allow them to be affected in any way. Daniel 3: 24-25 “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” This is an excellent fulfillment of the promise given through Isaiah less than a century earlier. Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego should have memorised this promise (maybe the entire book of Isaiah) and were trusting God to fulfill it! This promise is valid for us also today!!
In my post “Problems and Christians” I mentioned how I earlier assumed that God will remove a Christians’ problem, but after frustration and anger towards God I learnt that this was not correct. Now I am learning that in addition to God allowing us to go through problems, He keeps us company in our suffering and also encourages and sustains us! It is amazing to see how God has sustained me through all my problems. The ultimate way to join a person in their problems and sufferings is to take their burdens and that is what Jesus Christ did for me and you! “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53: 4-6.
Finally I want to quote 1 Peter 2:19-24 to encourage myself and others to endure suffering: “ This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”