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     But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,  and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isa. 43:1-3

Heavenly Father, your Word is a balm for the broken, ballast for the bewildered, and bread for the hungry. This sentiment is no mere theory; nor is it simply good theology. It’s my in-the-moment reality and I praise you with all my heart.

You’ve promised to show up, and here you are. Thank you for being the Father from whom all fatherhood derives its name and meaning; the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort; the God from whom all blessings flow. No god is as near as you and no god is as good, in every season and storm. The aroma of fresh gospel bread is wafting through the air as this day begins.

You’ve created us and you are redeeming us, all for your glory. You’ve summoned us by name, calling us to life in the gospel. You’ve given us a new name, “Mine.” There’s no sweeter name, appellation, label or title.

Father, you haven’t promised we won’t experience floods and torrents, and fires and flames. But you do promise you’ll be with us, “come fire or high water”. To know you are near and to know you are good is all we really need to know. We’ll go anywhere and do anything, as long as we are convinced that you will never leave us, forsake us, abandon us, shame us, or reject us.

Father, we know ourselves to be precious and honored in your sight, and greatly loved, because you gave Jesus in exchange for us. Though Jesus was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). We praise you for the one and only truly indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:15)!

And since you didn’t spare your own Son, we can trust you graciously to give us everything else we need (Rom. 8:32), for every season and storm ahead. We don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone. You are with us and you are for us. May your steadfast love and daily mercies flow through us today to others. So very Amen we pray, to the glory of Jesus, our Savior and King.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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