I’m a big fan of Corrie Ten Boom. I read her book, The Hiding Place, as a teenager, and ever since have marveled at the depth of her faith and faithfulness to God.
If you haven’t read her story, she and her family were imprisoned during World War II for helping Jews to hide from the Nazis. Her father and sister died while they were imprisoned, and yet her faith in God remained unwavering. I won’t give away any more details of her story, except to say that she spent the first few months of her time in prison confined to a cell all alone. She wrote about that time that if she dwelt on her thoughts, or even prayed too much of the time, she would lapse into despair and loneliness, but if she would fill her mind with as many Bible verses as she could remember, she was at peace and could feel that God was with her.
I came across the following quote of hers just the other day: “I’ve experienced His Presence in the deepest darkest hell that men can create. I have tested the promises of the Bible, and believe me, you can count on them.”
To me, this embodies the answer to the question in the title of this blog post. God is with us, and He is faithful, even when it seems we’ve descended into the darkness of hell.
In God’s Word, there are many promises that He will be with us in the trials and sorrows of life.
Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:1-2 (NLT)
In verse 5, He says:
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
In the Psalms, there are more promises that God will be with us, if we trust Him.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1 (NLT)
And Jesus promised to be with us always in Matthew 28:20 and Hebrews 13:5.
Those are just a few of the Scriptures that I’ve learned to depend on through the years. Not that I have ever lived in a war zone or had to flee for my life. But I have had my share of difficulties, and I can attest that God has never left me. He has given me hope, and has usually sent along someone to be His hands and feet at just the right time.
In reading story after story of Christians who have lost their homes, jobs, or families, I have found a recurring theme of peace, God’s faithfulness, or a sense of God’s presence with them. They have held on to their faith in God, even when threatened with death.
I read recently an account from Christians living in conflict zones or being targeted because of their faith, and they have said that they look to the example of the Apostle Paul. “He faced some harsh circumstances, he got arrested, was thrown in prison, stoned, shipwrecked and even killed for his faith…Paul’s anchor is in the finished work of Jesus, and this doesn’t change even in death.”
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. Philippians 1:21 (NLT)
As followers of Jesus, the Bible teaches us that our home is not this world; our home is in heaven.
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
But while we live on earth, we have the opportunity to get to know God more and more, to be conformed bit by bit to His image, and to seek to share His love and hope with others. Until one day, “…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)
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