Together in Christ: 'Deliverance When We Doubt' — Isaiah 43:18-19

Sunday, September 22, 2024

[After describing His great work in the Exodus, God spoke the following through Isaiah the prophet:] "But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
— Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

Key Thought

I don't know where you find yourself emotionally today. Life seems to guarantee that we will face significant times when we feel alone, abandoned, under attack, forgotten, targeted, under siege, and overwhelmed. In such difficult times, I like to remind myself of three truths:

  • Jesus felt abandoned on the cross [1] even though He knew God would never abandon Him. [2] Our feelings are real and sometimes raw, but they are not always correct. Jesus' cry, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" expressed how He felt, but the rest of Psalm 22 goes on to describe the horrors of the cross that the Lord knew were coming on Him, yet finishes with the truth of what God was going to accomplish through His death on the cross and resurrection. [3] We do not have to believe our feelings and doubts. We can express them to God and remind ourselves of God's promises. When we have difficulty believing, we can cry out like the father who desperately wanted to believe that Jesus could heal His son and said, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" [4]
     
  • We can look back on God's history of work with His people and see how God repeatedly delivered His people through harsh times — Israel from Egypt through the plagues and the Red Sea are but one of many examples. Even John the Baptizer's ministry that led to the coming of Jesus seems to be foreshadowed in today's passage. [5] And, as Isaiah reminds us as God's people in this prophetic word, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" [6] We have the God Who is "about to do something new" to deliver His people!
     
  • We have the promise of God's permanent presence in us and with us made clear by Jesus, [7], the Holy Spirit, [8] and also the apostle Paul. [9] Those promises are sealed by Jesus' loving sacrifice for us to deliver us from sin, death, and hell. And, as Paul reminds us, that if God would allow the gift of His Son to save us, won't he also give us all the things we need to get us home to Him, as well? [10]

Dear brother or sister in Jesus, don't let the devil's deceiving words, personal doubts, or the voices of cynics, skeptics, and haters rob you of your confidence. Your Father in heaven is the God of new things. Nothing in this life is so stuck that the Lord won't provide us a new way forward!

[1] Matthew 27:46.
[2] John 16:32.
[3] Psalm 22:1, 15-18, 19-31.
[4] Luke 3:1-6.
[5] John the Baptizer was carried out in the wilderness, focused on baptism in water, and was the one preparing the way for the Lord's coming — .
[6] Mark 9:24.
[7] John 14:15-17.
[8] Hebrews 13:5-6.
[9] Romans 8:32-39.
[10] Romans 8:31-32.

Today's Prayer

Father, I do believe, but help my unbelief. I want to trust in Your deliverance in my current circumstances as I read about those great acts of salvation. You performed to deliver Your people in the past. I need the Holy Spirit to help me sense Your presence and infuse me with the power to endure as I place my faith in You and not listen to my doubts, circumstances, and enemies. I pray all of this in the authoritative name of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 8:1-39
  • John 14:15-23

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Illustration

Illustration of Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT — [After describing His great work in the Exodus, God spoke the following through Isaiah the prophet:] "But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.