Feeling a bit lost, oppressed, in a daze perhaps, wondering what is going on? I have good news! God is with us my friends. There is nothing in this world that can separate us from the love of God, nothing! Go ahead and read Romans 8:31-39 and be encouraged over this glorious truth.
As we learned from Isaiah 35 in the last blog entry, Hope For the Future, Isaiah continues to teach us in chapter 61. In light of the events that have taken place in the United States yesterday, I want us to remember who God is, especially during times like this, as well as who we are as His children. God never changes in His character or in His love towards us.
God loves us with an everlasting love.
Let’s see what we possess when the “Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me.”1 First, Isaiah tells us that we are anointed. We have a calling that we need to fulfill that will change the world we live in, as well as prepare us for when Christ takes us home.
We need each other to be who God created us to be.
By our anointing, the Spirit will lead us to people who are in need of God’s unconditional love. We are to comfort the brokenhearted, and for those who are feeling stuck or imprisoned in situations, we are to profess to them that Christ will release them. In Galatians 5:1, we read how Christ truly sets us free, free from the bondages of this world.
There are mourning people amongst us. We are to tell them that the LORD’s favor has come upon them. Great joy awaits those who turn and receive God’s love. Isaiah continues to tell us that believers are given “a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, and festive praise instead of despair.”3
God is the One who plants us like great oaks, all because we are made righteous by the blood of His Son. An oak tree is majestic and strong. It weathers the winds and the rains and stands tall when the sun is shining bright.
We become vessels of His love where our actions give way for His Glory to shine.
Notice what we learn from verses 4-7. God takes the ruins from our past, no matter how ugly or messed up it is, and gives us a hopeful future. He rebuilds us. As renovation is taking place, God revives our hearts and lives. We become like wealthy heirs with our needs tended to.
You will be called priests of the LORD, ministers of our God.6
God raises us above what the world deems important and fills us with wondrous treasures, eternal treasures. Look at what verse 7 says, “Instead of shame and dishonor.” Who feels that these are a part of their vocabulary when they think about their life? NOT ANYMORE!
God says we will possess a double portion of honor when we belong to His family. God will give us blessings as we dwell in Christ. He will give everlasting joy as well.
This will help in the uncertain days that lie before us, “For I the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing.”8
In this world, we will suffer and endure hardships. It is encased in sin, but we know that it’s only temporary for Christ is returning for us. What joy we can have when we know that God never turns His love away from us, nor will He leave us in this evil world for He made an everlasting covenant with us. We are never alone.
We learn that God blesses the family unit. We affect each other. This is why marriages need to be on the same page and grow spiritually as one. This trickles down to how we parent our children. Spiritually strong couples raise up spiritually strong children who continue the lineage of grace with their children.
Isaiah ends this chapter with who we are when Jesus lives within repentant hearts.
“I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”10
Knowing this reality as God’s children should put a kick in our step as we raise a hallelujah to the God who loves us.
Be encouraged my friends, for the SOVEREIGN LORD will show His justice to the world. For added insight, sovereign means supreme power or authority. There is nothing higher than God Himself. A day is coming where “everyone will praise God!”11
The final verse of Isaiah 61 ends with this: our hearts will never experience the harshness of winter. By His righteousness, new life will spring up everywhere like it is springtime.
So, be encouraged as we face tomorrow. We may not know what tomorrow looks like but we do know who does and He says it He will be there with us. What more do we need?
Let’s get busy and share the Good News that will free so many people.