Hope in Hard Times

Despite difficulty, oppression and injustice, victory is sure as Isaiah paints the picture of a God who is mighty to save, deliver and redeem.  Judgement, ultimate justice and redemption is at hand, but our God delivers those who are His (Isaiah 63:1-4).  Judgement is a reality.  All injustices will be made right by the One who is able to judge – the Creator of the cosmos.  We don’t like to wait for justice, we want vengeance now, especially when we are the ones that are being unjustly treated.  Yes, we should always fight for justice and truth, but ultimately we must remember that the Creator is the One that will make all things new and reward those on His earth for their deeds – good and bad.  verses 5-6.

It is hard to hope in God and His ultimate deliverance when all that surrounds us is difficulty, injustice and oppression.  We are so prone to walk by what we can see instead of what is unseen.  How do we have hope when this is the case?
1.  Recount, recall and remember God’s steadfast love towards you.  This is often times difficult, but we must strive to reflect on the fact that we have nothing that we have not received from His hand according to His bountiful mercy.  Do you have a home, friends, family, a job, leisure time, freedoms, food, clothes?  Are you His?  Reflect on the fact that you deserve none of these things and it was not by your own efforts that you have received them.  You could have just as easily been born without your intellect in a 3rd world country where the gospel is not preached.  You were not, you were placed in the home you were placed in with the natural abilities that you possess, were afforded the opportunities that you have had and are a child of God according to His sovereign rule and reign, not according to randomness and your hard work (or failures). verse 7.
2.  You are His child.  Despite your failures and shortcomings (like Israel’s), He determined before He formed the world to set His affections upon you and call you to Himself.  Despite the health or dysfunction of your earthly family, God has called you His – you are kin to the King, a child of the Creator.  He will make all things new, restore the brokenness, and redeem you and this fallen creation.  verse 8.
3.  God is with you, even in the darkest points of life.  God is sorrowful over the sufferings, hardships and difficulties of His children – even when they are brought on by their own sinful actions.  He is not far from His children, He acts personally and directly to comfort and deliver in His time.  verse 9.
4.  Despite our failures, rebellion and short comings, there is hope in the future.  Just as God delivered the people in Egypt, He will deliver His children.  We must walk by faith, not by what we can see – our sight is limited, skewed and dim.  Despite the things that seem to be around us, the all powerful, all orchestrating Architect of all things is working and redeeming.  This hope is not fixed on us, our worth or performance, but in God’s ultimate goal of glorifying Himself.  It is liberating to see the promises of scripture through the lens of God’s glory rather than through the lens of our performance or worth – one is burdensome, the other is freeing.  v10-14.

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