Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 52:13-15

“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.

Sunday Devotional: Lamentations 3:31-33

“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.

 

Thursday Quote Day: Christian Wiman

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)

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:6-12

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:6-12)

These verses are a part of the chapter in the book of Isaiah known as the “Suffering Servant” chapter.  It is a prophesy by Isaiah about the coming messiah who would suffer and die for the people.  That coming messiah was Jesus.  He was the lamb that was led to slaughter.  He went willingly to die for our sins.  He had done no wrong but yet he suffered and died.  He bore our sins and paid the price for them so that we don’t have to do so.

These verses are a reminder that no matter where we are or what we’re going through, Jesus understand and knows.  He knows what it’s like to be rejected.  He knows what it’s like to be hurt by those who are strangers and those who are friends.  He knows what it’s like to be alone.  He loves us so much and wants us to know that we’re not alone and that He went through all He went through for us.

This week, let us trust in that.  Let us hope in that.  Let us share that with others.  Jesus suffered and died for us.  He also was resurrected so that we can have hope and new life.  He was a “man of sorrows” but he brings joy.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 53:1-5

“Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:1-5)

This has been a really tough week in so many ways.  A lot of pain and hurt has been felt in some way shape or form.  And sometimes it feels we are alone in our pain and suffering.  It is times like these that I’m reminded of these verses from the book of Isaiah.

Here in these verses Isaiah was foretelling the coming of Jesus and what Jesus would go through on our behalf.  Isaiah said that Jesus would be “a man of sorrows”.  He would know what it’s like to be rejected.  He would know what grief and pain is like.  He would take it on so that we could be reconciled with God.  He would do it so that we could be healed.

There is a lot of suffering in this world.  There is a lot of sorrow and grief.  There is a lot of pain and rejection.  We all experience it.  But we can be assured that Jesus understands.  He knows what we’re going through because He experienced it first hand.  He did so willingly because He loves us.

This week, let us remember and share the hope of Jesus.  In the midst of our own sorrows and griefs, let us remember that we are not alone in it.  We have one with us who understands and who loves us.  We have one with us who can give us hope when it feels like we have no hope left.

Thursday Quote Day: Clayton Kershaw

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)