(A teaching from Isaiah 54-55)
O Lord, what is happening in Your world today? There are fires, floods, disease, unrest, drought, and people all over the world are in a state of despair. There are many who are suffering and grieving from these events. Many wonder, “Why? “ What has happened? If there really is a God, why has He allowed this to happen?
It has been a long time since I have heard anyone refer to God without fearing retribution—outside of church, that is. Even many preachers have gone with the flow of the world and succumbed to merely entertaining, instead of preaching the Gospel, which sometimes can be confronting if you have strayed from the path, but be comforted for there is hope. Why do preachers not preach the word? Why put off the inevitable—God is calling His people back—can you hear His call?
Isaiah prophesized this long ago. Since God’s Word is ever-new to every generation, this message lives through the ages into eternity—it is infinite. This is what Isaiah wrote: “You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isa. 54:4)…The Lord will call you back…I have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer” Isaiah also writes that today is like the days of Noah when he “swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.”(Isa.54:9) God promises to rebuild the lives of people who believe. Isaiah calls out, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call him while He is near…Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him.” How can this be? Because God is God, the Creator, and His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. (Isa. 55:8ff)
What happens when it is finally understood what God has been telling those He created? Once again, Isaiah tells us: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12) Isn’t that a wonderful scene to behold? When you think about it, you can’t but help smile and breathe out all the “stuff” you have packed inside of you. The air becomes clean and fresh filled with the sweet fragrance of Christ.
The truth is some preachers need to take off the restraints that keep them from preaching the complete, loving word of God. It is not the time to tiptoe through the tulips, as Tiny Tim use to sing. And people who are there in person, or online, need to have the eyes of their hearts opened to see what God is trying to tell them and their ears opened to hear it. Without open hearts, the hearing just goes—as they say—in one ear and out the other.
God is yearning for a relationship with you. How do you come into a relationship with God? The answer is prayer, which is holding a conversation with Him as with a friend. It is not just a grocery list of what you think you need or want. It is enjoying sharing your ideas and listening to God’s ideas for the path He has chosen for you. II Chronicles 7:14 gives us the recipe for peace and healing: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
So, here it is, we need to hear the pure unadulterated word, then do what it says! Ultimately, peace is in the hands, thoughts, words, feet, and hearts of each one of us, because He, the Holy Spirit of God, lives within us.
Yes the world is a mess, but God proclaims to all of us, “I am in control!” He always was, is, and will be. Do you hope for peace? Then, by faith, it shall be. As the writer of Hebrews states: “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). For the unbelievers “seeing is believing.” But, for the believer, “believing is seeing.” Which are you? Are you at peace amid this chaotic world? You can be.
O Lord, help me to understand what You are calling me to do. This is truly the day You have made, help me to rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name I pray. Amen