Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do Not Despair

Isaiah 61

The Year of the LORD’s Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,a]">[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

All of us come to a crossroad in our lives maybe it is a time in the past, or something you are currently battling where you look back and think thoughts like: man I really blew it, I am marked, I will never be used of God again, His grace is enough for some people but I am the one that missed the mark where grace is concerned. Life is flat out hard and can be nasty at times. Sin can just heap up and make us feel as if we are damaged goods if we don't view our past/present sins in light of the cross. Yes if we look at our ability to be good or forgive and etc we are doomed left to our self. We have to put our hope in the cross. The fact that while our sin may have deep and lasting repercussions that God truly took our sins and hurled them into the depths of the sea. He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world and took our blemishes, our sins, and nailed them to the cross. If you live in the evangelical world that I live in this can become so cliche. I just know though that someone like myself needs to place their confidence in this, "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6)

When you are tempted to give into the lie that the Lord is done with you or that you can't be used you have got to settle that with the enemy or he will continue to shoot those fiery arrows at the place where you should be putting up your shield of faith to extinguish those arrows. Your hope and confidence has to be on God and His ability to forgive and restore not how you feel or what you have done. Yes learn from your past sin and failure but do not let it turn to despair. In Christ we have hope and with Him is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. I love (and I do not want to take this out of context in anyway but Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 61) that the Lord will take those who have truly grieved and mourned over their sins and bring us to a place of restoration where He gives us a new place to stand and puts a new song in our hearts and bestows on you and I a crown of beauty instead of ashes. You may feel like life's circumstances and failures have just burned down around you leaving only ashes that you heap on yourself in mourning and you feel covered by the stench and everyone including you can smell it but the LORD puts a crown on your head, gives you the oil of gladness instead of mourning and adorns your precious self with a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. If we still have breath the Lord still has purpose for us. Can we miss our callings...yes. Lets take the bull by the horns and believe God until we breathe our last breath. Lets choose to believe in our merciful Lord and may He give us the courage to stand on the Rock of His word and let whatever grievous things in the past teach us that His word was true all along and may it lead us to a greater fear and reverence and deep love for the Lord. Let's use what we have learned to turn back and strengthen the brethren. Whatever we do let's not give into despair. He knows the plans He has for us, plans for hope and a future.

If I could yell it from a mega phone to the weary person that needs to hear it I would know this... (Hebrews 12:11-13)11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Believe God for His redemption. He is enough for you and me. Whatever discipline we have received may have not been pleasant but painful...but let's not let it go to waste. Let it produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Don't give up and don't give in.

The Lord loves you and longs for you to come to Him so He can have compassion on you. You are precious in His sight.

HERE is a devo that my friend made sure I read yesterday. It is so good. I hope it speaks to you!

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michellemabell said...

Thank you. This did speak to me greatly.


Melanie said...

Amen! I love this!

So nice to "meet" you today!
Melanie :)