“See, My Servant will act wisely;
He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were appalled at You—
His appearance was so disfigured
that He did not look like a man,
and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations.
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him,
For they will see what had not been told them,
and they will understand what they had not heard.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)
These are the words from the prophet Isaiah. He wrote these words hundreds of years before the One who would come to fulfill this prophesy. That One was Jesus. Isaiah wrote about how Jesus would be lifted up and exalted. He wrote that he would be disfigured which Jesus was as He was beaten and flogged to the point of death before His crucifixion. But this was done so that all nations could be reconciled unto God.
These verses are prior to the “Suffering Servant” chapter. Though these verses are not as well known, they as well portray how Jesus suffered for us so that “they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.” Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and has been raised up and greatly exalted in His rightful place as the Son of God. This week let us remember and be thankful that Jesus did that for us.
“For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love.
For He does not enjoy bringing affliction
or suffering on mankind.” (Lamentations 3:31-33)
The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah. If there was someone who understood lamenting, it was Jeremiah. He was a prophet who was charged with speaking God’s truth to the people. But the people would not listen. And because they would not listen and repent, judgement came and the people suffered including Jeremiah.
Even throughout the book of Lamentations where there is lamenting and grief throughout, there is also hope. These verses are a part of that hope. Jeremiah reminds the people that God does have abundant, faithful love for his people. He does want to bring His people back from suffering and pain. He “will not reject us forever”.
Sometimes when we are going through painful times and we are in that valley of suffering, we feel that it never ends. Months or even years may pass and the suffering we feel never ends. But these verses remind us that even though it seems never ending, it is not. God will bring it to end. He loves us and though we may deal with suffering, we have hope because of Jesus Christ. We are not rejected forever because we have been accepted through Christ’s work on the cross. We may still endure pain and suffering on this Earth but it will not last forever.
This week, as we may going through our own pains and sufferings, let us rest in the hope that it will not last forever. That the steadfast love of God endures and He will deliver us.
This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from author Charles Dickens:
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” (Charles Dickens)
For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” here is a quote from poet Christian Wiman:
“I am a Christian because of that moment on the cross when Jesus, drinking the very dregs of human bitterness, cries out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ … He felt human destitution to its absolute degree; the point is that God is with us, not beyond us, in suffering.” (Christian Wiman)
For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” here is a quote from Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw:
“We only have to look at Jesus to realize how God can bring beautiful things out of even the worst moments. The cross seems like the greatest defeat, but now we know that Jesus went through that suffering to win the ultimate victory over sin and death. If God can do that with the cross, He can do something beautiful with any trial.” (Clayton Kershaw Arise)