He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
This verse stood out to me today in my reading, because it is so encouraging. Initially, it may not seem so. I can’t think of anyone I know, myself included, who thinks Oh yea! Another problem to deal with! I’d rather my life sail along without any obstacles to get in the way of my plans. But I’ve lived long enough to know that problems and tragedies are a part of life, as Jesus tells us in John 16:33.
As I meditated on this verse, the truth of it rang clear in my life, because I’ve also lived long enough to find out that God does walk through problems and tragedies with me. Two words in this verse captured my attention, and I wanted to explore them further: deliver and honor. I think you’ll be encouraged by the nuances of these two words and the meaning that they give to our sufferings.
First of all, the word deliver is chalats in Hebrew. It has some interesting meanings including “to be equipped,” “to be armed,” “to make strong,” “brace up,” and “to invigorate.” This gave me pause. How many times have I thought as I was walking through a trial that I didn’t know if I had enough strength to get through this? Most recently, I remember thinking that when my son was burned in an accident two years ago. As I went through the debriding process with him, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to handle the horror of that procedure. But did you see what God promises us? God equips me, arms me, makes me strong, braces me up, and even invigorates (!) me so that I can withstand the troubles I am in. And He did. It was not easy, but God was true to His word. God will not let our troubles defeat us if we trust Him!
The word honor also has an interesting meaning. It is transliterated kabad, and it means “to be glorious,” “be honored,” and “gain glory.” I’ve never thought of my trials as being a means of honor and glory, but it would seem that in the process of our suffering, God gives us a spiritual honor and glory.
I know it is excruciatingly difficult to walk through times of trials, but I hope that this encourages you today to hold on to God. Don’t let go. He will walk with you, equipping you, strengthening you, and bracing you up for whatever lies ahead. If you feel like you’ve reached the end of your strength, then be even more encouraged, because that’s when the Holy Spirit takes over, if you let Him. He’ll give you a supernatural strength, or He will give you a time of rest to recharge.