“Cling to the promises of God that are given, not simply in times of great peace or tranquility, but in moments of our greatest despair.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 2, 2022
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. Isaiah 7:1, NKJV
Over the past few weeks, the world has looked on in horror as the people of Ukraine have slowly been surrounded by enemy forces, bent on their demoralization and destruction. And as horrific as these events have been, along with them have come stories of great courage and unspeakable heroism. Though outmatched and overpowered, these brave men and women have sought to defend their cities and protect the lives of the innocent, even at the cost of their own lives.
In Isaiah 7, we find a remarkably similar story. Jerusalem found itself in a desperate situation, surrounded by Syrian forces who came with a singular purpose to make war against the people of God. And yet, despite their best intentions, they “could not prevail against it.” (Isaiah 7:1) In fact, it is in this moment of great trial and crisis that the prophet Isaiah speaks words of hope and promise over Israel, reminding them that their momentary struggles will not have the final word but will one day be overcome by the goodness and mercy of God.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
In many ways, in the personal details of our lives we may feel like we are surrounded by enemy forces. The challenges of parenthood keep us up at night. Financial concerns press upon us and threaten to steal our joy and confidence in God’s provision. The enemy of sickness and chronic pain lurks around the corner, ready to strike at any moment. These are the forces that seek our harm and long to overpower our hope in God.
And yet, like Israel of old, we cling to the promises of God that are given, not simply in times of great peace or tranquility, but in moments of our greatest despair. If you feel overcome by the weight of the world, remember today that you are in the exact place God longs to meet you. Look afresh to Jesus, the one who took the very depths of evil and oppression upon himself so that it might be conquered once and for all. Though you are surrounded by enemy forces, you are also surrounded by an even greater power, one who hems you in before and behind, and lays his hand upon you (Psalm 139:5).
Father, remind me that you are near to me in my struggles, and will walk with me and lead me into places of peace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What is the greatest enemy you are facing in your life today? How can you place that enemy at the foot of the cross and there remember that death and evil has been overcome?
Michael W. Smith: Surrounded (Fight My Battles)
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