When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
I am reminded of the martyrdom of Stephen. According to the Bible, he was the first person to ever lose his life for the name of Jesus. The Jewish leaders had commanded him to stop sharing his faith; when Stephen continued to do so, they had him arrested and brought before the High Priest for questioning. In response to their accusations, Stephen did not make excuses, but instead, preached directly to the High Priest and his council. The result was Stephens’ stoning. They dragged him to the outer edge of Jerusalem and pummeled his body with rocks until the Bible says he “expired.”
Although his witness was amazing, the greatest truth about this story is the Lord’s promise to be with us even in our darkest hour. Acts 7:55-60 records the following: “But being full of the Holy Spirit, [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’… And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!'”
Nothing will ever separate you from the love that Jesus has for us. He is continually with you, always concerned with your troubles. You must learn to trust in His presence as Stephen did, not attempting to cross the raging waters on your own. The faster you go to Him in prayer, the faster His redeeming hand will be felt in your life.