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feel the heat

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“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 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 43:1-4

Can we experience abundance even when we’re walking through the fire? Even when the waters threaten to overtake us?

The reality of this life is that we are going to pass through some ugly waters. Waves that mount up and threaten to drown us in their crest. And we are going to walk through fire. Hot fire. Fire burning blue, melting iron, destructive and searing.

It’s not a matter of “maybe”, but a matter of “when”. Life is programed to hurt.

And while we are promised not to be overtaken by the waters, or be set ablaze by the flames, there is no promise that we won’t feel the heat.

A hard season will testify to that.

I am grateful for God’s mercy and protection in so many areas of my life. I am thankful for His hand that has brought us through some very painful moments. I am relieved for those times when he plucked us out of harmful circumstances and brought us to places of healing and restoration. We were not consumed by rivers or fires. We were spared.

And yet, we felt the heat. It burned hot, and there were moments when we wondered how much worse things might get.

My friends, Jesus never promised us a pain-free, problem-free, tranquil life. He told us we were going to have troubles.

“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

But he also told us that he would be with us.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

He promised us his peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

We belong to him.

“You are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

We overcome and walk in abundance, not because we have evaded the heat of the fire, but because God’s presence resides within us. Nothing can consume us. The overcomer of this world will give us what we need to overcome the waters and the flames. And no matter the voracity of the waves or the intensity of the heat, we are never abandoned to them. Jesus is with us…even to the end.

This may sound kind of heavy. Kind of sobering. But I am learning, through the season before and the season we are living in now, that my abundance – my fullness – does not come from ideal circumstances, but from God’s very presence abiding in my life. The heat hurts, but it won’t consume me.

We may feel the heat, but we won’t be set ablaze.

The abundant posture does not deny the hurt in the heat but abides in the assurance of God’s presence through the fire.

“We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:12

I am choosing an attitude of abundance. Allowing God full access to my heart, my mind, my choices, and my pain. There is immeasurable peace in the process of release. There is relief in the process of surrender. And where we felt the heat, we now share in the abundance of his grace.

Can we experience abundance even when we’re walking through the fire?

Yes. We can. When we hold on to Jesus, the overcomer of this world, not one spark will set us ablaze. And even when we feel the heat, we can stand in the fullness of God’s faithfulness. He will bring us to a place of abundance.

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