Floods, Fires, & Faith

Floods, Fires, & Faith

What do Job and Joseph have in common with Jesus?

They went through floods and fires & kept their faith.

I’m in a period in my life where I’m sick of fires, literally and figurately. I live in an area that’s had fires for weeks, days smelling smoke, ash falling on us and a week where it seems like every day of the week I found out a family member or friend had sickness, loss, or some form of disaster in their life. I’m over year’s worth of dealing with literal floods and fires. Over hearing stories and experiencing figurative floods and fires. And all we can do now is turn to scripture for answers.

There’s plenty of stories and psalms about floods and fires from scripture to turn to.

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.

Isaiah 43:2

When we’re walking through the floods and fires of life, it’s easy to forget that we have someone who is with us.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;

Psalm 23:$

Telling others to have faith in trials and suffering is our common suggestion. But in order to have faith in suffering, we must know what faith is and what it isn’t.

Having faith isn’t the belief in only have blessing and not suffering.

Having faith is the belief that God is with us and for us, even in suffering. He is sovereign, even when we suffer.

It’s easy to believe that faith equals blessings and a happy life. It’s all modern psychology and motivational speaking and social work teaches us. Suffering is bad, it’s a negative experience that causes negative emotions, in fact our goal of life should be to seek our own happiness and avoid, remove, and reduce anything that gets in the way of that goal.

However, Jesus shows us a completely different way of living. Isaiah 42 is referring to suffering servant! Jesus came, took on the flesh of a human, and then suffered the greatest darkness on the cross for our sin. He took on himself all the suffering through being separated from the Father in order that we could be saved and reconciled back to Him.

Now we have a Savior who shares in our sufferings with us, but scripture is also clear that we experience the same sufferings.

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:5

Our comfort abounds in Christ. We have a God who comforts us because he personally knows our sufferings. We constantly try to avoid pain in life, yet we’re told we’ll share in suffering. Again in 1 Peter 4:12-13

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 4:12-13

Yet 1 Peter 5:8-11 reminds us that it is important that we remain faithful, because Christ defeated the powers of darkness and is working to restore all of creation. We have faith and hope in the resurrection and coming of the new heavens and earth. The devil may be prowling around right now, but God is still sovereign and Jesus is still going to bring eternal glory. So we must remain firm and faithful that we have a God who comforts us in our sufferings because he is with us always and walks with us through the floods and in the fires.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11

I’d like to end with on my favorite passages, John 16:33 – for we have peace through all of life’s floods and fires when we have faith in Christ.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

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