Hope in Unsettling Times

Darkness doesn’t prevent the Lord.

Isaiah is a prophet who brought some shocking news to God’s people. Israel was going to fall into the hands of Assyria; they would have difficult days ahead. The time would seem unsettling and dark, but God would not forget about his people.

Today may be an unsettling time. COVID19 is still present in our lives causing interruptions. Other problems have reached a boiling point. It does not seem good headlines exist in the news, but God has not forgotten about his people.

In chapter 8, Isaiah says, “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, ‘Don’t call everything a conspiracy like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven’s armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear; he is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe.”

He promises to keep those who are faithful safe. Isaiah goes on in verse 16, “Preserve the teaching of God, and trust the instructions of those who follow me. I will wait for the Lord, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him.”

Isaiah recognizes God is the one constant hope. Hope in anything or anyone else is fallible, but hope in the Lord is unfailing. Isaiah was living in an anxious time, but he centered his hope on the Lord.

“Look to God’s instructions and teachings,” Isaiah encourages in 8:20-21. “People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry, and because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their god. They will look up to Heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.”

The next time life seems hopeless and you are plagued by yesterday’s mistakes, try looking to the hope and grace offered by the Lord. Partake in his grace, and allow it to wash over the feelings of hopelessness and despair you may be encountering. Isaiah’s promise is as good today as the day he originally prophesied.

The Lord offers hope to his people even in the most unsettling times.

Please share this post.

One Promise

Many People, Same Promise

They came from a variety of backgrounds and places. Some were of Jewish descent while others shared a different heritage. Some were poor and could barely make ends meet while others had plenty of wealth. They lived in different locations and celebrated different cultures. They were a diverse people, but they received the same promise.

They received the promise presented by Christ. That is, forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God through grace. This was the same promise for everyone.

Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter 3, “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ than you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs, according to the promise.”

The promise was offered to everyone and the only deciding factor was acceptance. The Lord only looked at the heart and nothing else.

The Lord has not changed. He still only looks at the heart and nothing else. You and I may be part of a diverse group of people, but the promise made to us is the same. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds and places, but we can share in the Lord’s grace.

The Bible challenges us to look at one another’s heart rather than outward appearance. How well do you and I meet this challenge?

Please share this post.

Joy in Hope

“Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the king is in residence there,” said Robert Rainey.

In a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, so Linus said, “Charlie Brown, you are the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.”

Are we like Charlie Brown? It is easy to become wrapped up in circumstances and loose sight of our hope. As Christians though, we are encouraged to always be joyful for our hope.

“Be joyful in hope. Patient in affliction. Faithful in prayer,” encourages Romans 12:12.

Be joyful in hope.

Life certainly has its difficulties, but we can always look ahead to the hope we have in Christ.

1 Peter describes this hope as…

  • A living and eternal hope. Time will not take our hope away.
  • A hope which will not perish or spoil. Our hope will always be the same. It is not going away.
  • A hope which will withstand trouble. We may be enduring afflictions, but they are not powerful enough to rob us of the hope we have in Christ.

No matter what we are going through or where we are right now, we can look ahead to the joyful promise we have been given.

Please share this post.