“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2 (NASB)
Yesterday we learned from God’s Word through His prophet Isaiah that perfect peace is available to those whose mind is steadfast and unwavering in their trust in God. Today’s promise gives us the attitude of fearlessness. The idea of ‘No Fear’ is presented to us in many different ways: the No FEAR Act of 2002; as a brand for lifestyle clothing; and even as a translation of old English literature such as Shakespeare into modern English. God knows we all are tempted to be afraid and desire to have no fear. He has given us this guide – the Bible – which promises what He will do for us in these times. We can affirm that God is our salvation. When we can confirm that our salvation from the wages of sin (Romans 6:23) is ours by faith in God, we can trust Him without fear. Isaiah confirms his own standing – he trusts because the Lord God provides strength to do so. It is a strength that calms our spirit and gives us a song of praise. We have this promise: when we trust in God, He becomes our salvation and we abide in Him for the rest of time and beyond.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)
This promise for today is for every day. It is well worth keeping it in the top of our mind. We all face times when the peace we have is challenged by events and circumstances. What we expect fails to be what we get and our peace is gone like a puff of smoke in a sudden breeze. We resort to worry, doubts and are tempted to go down a different path. What we need instead is to grip onto and hold firmly in our mind the truth in this promise from God. Isaiah penned these words inspired by the Spirit of God. He wrote, a fixed outlook of trust in the Lord causes a peace within that the wicked can never know (Isaiah 57:21). Such trust prevents double mindedness (James 1:6–8) and serving two masters (Matthew 6:24). Perfect peace means complete, genuine peace that comes only by grace from God. As we experience this inner peacefulness our faith grows and we are encouraged to continue trusting our Lord and Savior Jesus. Let’s prepare ourselves now for today’s opportunity to exercise trust in God who is our Rock forever. Perfect peace can be ours.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” – Isaiah 55:6 (NASB)
Our promise today is one that brings thankfulness to our hearts and without fail, we can trust the promise. But, more than a promise, it is an invitation from our Lord God. God is near and being near means he is ‘findable.’ This appeal is for all people, believers, but especially those who have not yet chosen to believe in the only God, our Savior Jesus Christ. What can we believe when we seek the Lord? We can believe that we will receive mercy and pardon. From the beginning of time the Lord has required the same thing for salvation and that is that we trust in Him. Salvation by grace and mercy has always been available to the all who are willing to seek the Lord and call on Him. There is a warning, God can be found only while He is near, which means while His offer is still available. There are also promises of a time of His judgment when it will be too late to receive the mercy and pardon God offers it to us now. Be thankful today if you in faith have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9 (ESV)
Our God has compassion on all who in faith believe in Him for forgiveness and salvation. Many people do not believe and do not understand God’s ways. We as human creatures, while created by God, use our reasoning and try to fit God into it. Such an exercise does not work at all. Our minds and our ability to reason are limited. It is what we think and say that is finite and flawed. God has no limitations. He is omniscient (knows all things) and omnipotent (all powerful). He does perfectly whatever He wills and it is all good. When we try to understand God by using our limited facilities to think and reason, we are actually trying to compel God to fit into our convenient box of understanding. God is omnipresent (everywhere present) and cannot be contained. To make God’s ways fit our reasoning, we change the definitions of God’s words giving them a different meaning – a meaning which does not exist in what God has said. We’re pretending our ways are higher than God’s ways and we’re putting our words into God’s mouth, words that He has never spoken. Let’s not do that. Let’s take God at His word.
”Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 (ESV)
If you are a regular follower of this blog, we thank you. If you are just finding it, we thank you as well. The verse for today is a message through the prophet Isaiah from God to His people in ancient times. God was continually reminding the nations of Israel and Judah who He was and who they were. He redeemed them, brought them out of Egypt and gave them the Promised Land. The promise and truth are good for us today as well. Israel’s God is also our God and He does not change. His word is perfect and it lasts forever. His teaching benefits us, it is to our profit to listen and to follow. God knows what is best for us and the right way is for us to go. If we trust Him, He will teach us what is best and direct us where we should go. This is true no matter where we are, no matter what our situation, no matter what circumstances we are facing. God is actively involved in our lives and He knows what is best for us. Look to him today for the guidance and direction we need.
Isaiah, redeemer, teaches
“Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” Isaiah 58:8-9a (NASB)
The people of Israel were complaining that God did not recognize their religious actions. God responds to them that their fasting was half-hearted and done with the wrong motivation. Insincere fasting resulted in contention, fighting, and pretense. Fasting consisted of more than just an outward ritual and a mock penitence, it involved repentance over sin resulting in humility. Turning from sin, and caring for those in need was required for God to acknowledge their obedience in fasts. In contrast with the complaint of v. 3, a time will come when the Lord will be completely responsive to the prayers of His people. This will be done when they are converted and giving evidence of the transformation in the kind of works that reflect a truly repentant heart This verse is an interesting way to describe what happens when we pray. Seek God with the right heart and God will pour out His blessings. God has a way of letting us know that He is listening when we pray. When we are praying in earnest we’ll be aware that God’s is there and listening because He has promised to be there.
“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,,,” Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)
Our verse is part of a prophecy God sent to His people Israel through Isaiah His prophet. Isaiah delivered this important message to His people. It is a promise for all but in this instance it was a promise that the people rejected and were unwilling to submit to it. By not accepting the promise Israel missed the blessing of it. God wanted to them to learn this truth, and it is still effective even today. You and I will do well to listen to this promise. God wants us today to know the secret to salvation and strength. Rest, or relax, and trust in Him. If we have been trying to live right by our own effort, we need to realize that God offers to help us to live right and also to accomplish lasting results. The kind of rest promised comes from trusting the words of God. We can rest by believing and following God’s instructions. Let’s believe His words and quit trying in our own strength. Let’s remember these words, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It’s a promise and a blessing for us if we will have it.
Isaiah, rest, salvation, strength, trust
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;.” Isaiah 59:1 (ESV)
Does it sometimes seem like our requests to God are not heard or perhaps not important enough for His attention? These words from the prophet Isaiah it this verse can help us remember God’s ability to help His followers and His desire to help them. God gave these words to remind his people in Isaiah’s time that if they did not experience God’s help it was not because he was deaf or unable to, it was not His fault. As we read the next few verses we learn that it was the sin of the people that caused God to not hear and to hide His face from them. God wants us to know that He was able to help then and He is able to help now. Nothing is so separated from God that He cannot reach it and he is able to hear when we ask for help. But we must live our lives according to God’s commandments. When we do we find our God is listening and hears our call. His ear is turned in our direction waiting for us to express our prayers to Him. God will intercede for us.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Are these familiar words to you? They may be just the promise we need to hear these days. Because we all face uncertainty and trying times, because we all can find ways to be upset inside because of outside turmoil. When things are not as they should be, at least in our own understanding, peace escapes us. We believe that we all need to be reminded often of these promises. But first, let us understand what this promise of peace is promising perfect peace. Perfect peace may not be just the absence of turmoil. Perfect peace can be ours in the midst of upsetting challenges. Perfect peace is complete, genuine, inner tranquility which we find when we trust the word of God. There are so many influences and distractions in this world to interrupt our thinking and to disturb our peace. Remember, who is it that benefits from God’s peace? It is the person who trusts in God because those who trust in God focus their thinking on God’s faithfulness and this gives their minds a real steadfastness. Steady thinking is really a part of real peace. Let’s keep our minds steady today, trusting the Lord.
“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—” – Isaiah 52:13-14 (ESV)
This is a good passage for post Easter consideration so that we do not let the importance of what Christ was willing to do and did for us be forgotten. His resurrection is so important because his death is so very important to our lives. Today, if you have a moment, take it and read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. The Isaiah 53 is well known for its prophecy of the torture, suffering, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. However the section begins in Isaiah 52:13. These are some of the words describing what Jesus went through in order to pay the price of our sin. In Isaiah 53 there are 29 words or combination of words which describe the suffering Christ did. Words like: despised, rejected, esteemed not, grief, sorrow, smitten, pierced, crushed, wounds, oppressed, and slaughter. After all this torture at the hands of the Romans and others, Jesus was so marred he was unrecognizable. The last verse in the chapter is our promise too, “yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. After all he did, he became our intercessor before God the Father. That is a promise that fills our heart with joy.