Written by Melody Nash Tuesday, 29 January 2013 09:10
Last week, we had the pleasure of leading a youth group in Atlanta, Georgia in a night of worship, and it was my turn to give my testimony. The night before the concert I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to share with the youth group, and I was getting frustrated because the message and set weren't coming together. I woke up the next morning with the song "I Understand" by Smokie Norful stuck in my head, and a couple lines from the song really made me think:
Please Lord give me strength I'm just trying to make it through. That's when he told me, "One more day, one more step. I'm preparing you for myself. And if you can't hear my voice, please trust my plan. I'm the Lord I see you, and yes, I understand."
Our team was having a pretty rough week, and these lyrics couldn't have been more timely. As I started dissecting the lyrics, three points stuck out: we belong to God, His ultimate plan is that we would have eternal life with Him, and He understands all the trials we go through.
We belong to God:
In Isaiah 43: 1b, God boldly states our identity in Him: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:21 takes this relationship a step further: "...the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise." We were created by God to praise Him, to worship Him, but we messed this relationship up with our sin. Even though there was nothing we could do to make our relationship right with God again, no way we could ever repay God for all the times we were unfaithful and turned our backs on Him, He redeemed us through the blood of Jesus Christ. Now we have life in Christ, praising Him for all of eternity.
God's ultimate plan is that we would have eternal life with Him:
Isaiah 43:25 says, "I, even I, and he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." By God's amazing grace, we have been restored to a full relationship with Him. We have eternal life with our Lord! No matter what suffering and pain we have to go through on this earth, we can have confidence that in the end "...he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken." (Isaiah 25:8) As amazing as this already is, by humbling himself and coming to the earth as a man, God not only gives us salvation but is able to understand all of the pain, trials, and temptations we experience.
God understands our pain:
Hebrews 4:14-15 says, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." God sees the hurt you are going through in your specific situation and understands it completely because he has felt it himself.
These three points are things I've heard so many times, and yet they are things that are so easy to forget when we're in the midst of suffering and heartbreak. But what it all boils down to is summed up in Isaiah 49:15-16: "I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."
When I came across this verse, I was blown away. How is it possible to ever think that God has forgotten you when He died on the cross for you? You are engraved on the palms of the hands of God, there's no way He could forget you. Even in the deepest heartache, God has a plan. He is preparing you for future glory with Him, He is experiencing your pain, and He wants you to cling to Him, because He will never let you go.
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