Don't Give Up!
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In the midst of the escalating threats and declining morals we see in the world today, it’s easy to get discouraged and become fearful. Yet God always provides a witness to His love and salvation!
In the Old Testament, Isaiah described the tremendous upheaval and danger that Israel faced centuries before Christ. Yet God gave this prophet a promise of the Savior yet to come, which we can read in Isaiah 7:14 (NLT):
The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us').
How blessed we are today, knowing that Immanuel is Jesus Christ. He is the only begotten Son of God who makes His home in our hearts when we trust in Him. And just as we look forward to His Second Coming, people in Isaiah’s time must have yearned for the fulfillment of his amazing Messianic promise.
We can be strengthened by Isaiah’s message to the people in the interim:
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, … “don't live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven's Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe” (Isaiah 8:11-14).
Isaiah continued with an exhortation that rings down through the ages:
Preserve the teaching of God ... . Shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? … Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark (Isaiah 8:16, 19-20).
The darker the world gets, the brighter God’s light should shine in us and through us. Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5:14,
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
In order to shine effectively, we should ask God for His guidance, just as Isaiah said. God is always eager to reveal Himself to us. You may think, God never speaks to me! But if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have His Spirit living within you. As you pray and read God’s Word, take time to listen for His voice quietly speaking to your heart. And the more you practice listening, the more you will hear Him guiding you, protecting you, comforting you, and empowering you.
His Spirit teaches us how to let His love shine out from our lives, drawing others unto Him—even those who seem very different from us or far from God. After all, as we are reminded in Ephesians 2:2, 4-5:
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world … . But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)
So instead of focusing on a world in turmoil, let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, as Hebrews 12:2 tells us. Day by day, let’s ask Him to show us how we can personally share His grace, love, and salvation with others. And we have His wonderful promise in Galatians 6:9,
Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
God bless you!
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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