The One Thing You Really Need to Know When You’re Suffering

I got off the plane in Sri Lanka looking for Pete.

But there was no one there to meet me. No one dressed like me. No one who looked like me. I was 8 million miles from home. I felt like I was wearing a flashing neon sign “Completely Inexperienced World Traveler. Please rob me.” Where was Pete?

You see, Pete had been all over the world. As long as Pete was with me, I knew I would be ok, because he would know what to do.

Isaiah 43.2 says:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

Believers will suffer.

God says, “WHEN you pass through the waters,” not “IF” you pass through the waters.

James tells us to count it all joy when we encounter trials of “various kinds” (JA 1.2) – from minor aggravations to devastating tragedies. But here is the encouraging part. When we pass through these foaming waters Jesus promises, “I will be with you.” Jesus – the author of our faith, who has been tempted every way we are – will be with us.

We don?t need to have all the answers ahead of time. Jesus will be with us. Whether we encounter waters or flames, Jesus will be there, and he will know what to do. That’s all we need to know. Where will we get strength? Jesus. Where will we get help? Jesus. Where will we get direction? Jesus. And he will be with us to the end:

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (MT. 28.20)

Are you up to your neck in floodwaters? Are the flames licking all around you? You may not know what to do next. You may not know how you are going to get through this. But you only need to know one thing – Jesus is with you and will be with you in every situation. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will know his peace.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.