Summary: No matter what the waters of life may hold or how raging the rivers may be, the child of God can rest in the promise: "I will be with thee."


“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.” Isaiah 43:2a


No one is immune from trials, tribulations, troubles and distresses in this life. These things affect us all. Jesus said: These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Job declared: “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1.


You may try to avoid the waters but such efforts will fail. Man’s escape mechanisms (alcohol, drugs, denial) will come to naught. Either with God…or alone…you will go through! But Christian remember: “If God’s will brings you to it…His grace will bring you through it!”


We do not all go through the same waters. Some will go through the waters of poverty, impaired health, discrimination, physical or mental handicap, abuse of any sort, etc.

We must be careful not to “feel sorry for ourselves” but always keep in mind that there are “other little boats” being battered by the storms of life. (Mark 4:36)


Throughout life we will have rivers to cross. There will be times when our faith is not as strong as it should be; times when sorrow and grief seem greater than we can bear and times when challenges facing us come when strength is depleted. It is then when we must look to Him!


Even though you will pass through the waters, some very deep and dark, and rivers that threaten to overflow you and dash you against the rocks hidden from your view, His promise is sure. “They will not overflow you!” Rest assured: “There has not failed one word of all His good promise!” I Kings 8:56.


No greater assurance is possible. As the promise was to Joshua, so it is to every child of God: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.

Henry Crowell’s great poem “When Thou Passest Through the Waters” captures the wonderful truth found in Isaiah 43:2.

"Do you feel your heart discouraged as you pass along the way?

Does there seem to be more darkness than there is of sunny day?

It is hard to learn the lesson, as we pass beneath the rod,

That the sunshine and the shadow serve alike the will of God.

But to me there comes a promise, like the promise of the bow,

That however deep the waters, they shall never overflow.

"When the flesh is worn and weary and the spirit is depressed,

When temptation comes upon you like a storm on ocean’s breast,

There’s a haven ever ready for the tempest-driven bird,

There is shelter for the tempted in the promise of His Word;

For the standard of the Spirit shall be raised against the foe,

And however deep the waters, they shall never overflow.

"When sorrow comes upon you that no other soul can share,

And the burden seems too heavy for the human heart to bear,

There is One whose grace can comfort if you’ll give Him an abode,

There’s a Burden-bearer ready if you’ll trust Him with your load;

For the precious promise reaches to the depth of human woe,

That however deep the waters, they shall never overflow.

"When the sands of life are ebbing and I near dark Jordan’s shore,

When I see the billows rising and I hear the waters roar,

I’ll reach out my hand to Jesus, in His bosom I will hide;

It will only be a moment ‘till I reach the other side.

It is then the fullest meaning of the promise I shall know:

“When thou passest through the waters they shall never overflow.”

.....Henry Crowell

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Leonard Bowers

commented on Oct 18, 2008

Your Outline was thought provoking and very inspiring.

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