Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim 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, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy 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.”
Sudden loss of a loved one, a devastating divorce, consequences of leading a sinful lifestyle—have touched all of us in one way or another. None of us are able to escape this world unscathed by all of the sin in this world. The effects of Adam and Eve’s decision in the Garden of Eden to disobey God continue to affect all of us personally in our day-to-day lives. There is hope, however—a light at the end of the tunnel. That hope comes from believing in a God whose desire it is to redeem us all from the curse (Galatians 3:13). In man’s darkness God’s light shines all the brighter and more gloriously.
Life events can often leave us feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, or discouraged. It is impossible for us to rise from such a place with our eyes fixed only on our situation. It is in times of trouble that we must cling all the more to the truths of God’s Word and the hope we find in the pages of Scripture. My favorite verse in the Bible is from Psalm 27:
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14, KJV)
My salvation came at just the right time in my life—just as I had grown so weary of the wickedness of my own flesh and those around me. At just the right time the Lord saw fit to step in and save me. But, even from that moment of salvation, sorrow has threatened to cripple me. It is as I have seen men and women of faith suffer around me and yet still bring glory to God—and God Himself bringing beauty from heir tragic stories, that I continue to find hope in every day.
No story is too tragic to be touched and healed by the hand of God. He longs to reach deep into the hearts of all men, whom He created for His glory, and bring healing out of brokenness. God can take anyone’s story and turn it into a powerful testimony. Have you come through this life marked by pain? You are not alone. Have you found it hard to move forward? Pain and sorrow affecting everyday decisions you make? There is freedom in believing that God is on your side, working good in every situation (Romans 8:28). The Lord wants to rewrite your story with an ending that’s full of His redemptive power.
How many times have we read a biography of a person who has suffered great loss, but yet their pain and suffering was healed and actually used to make them stronger and better able to love others? Do you think that the same God who did that in their lives wants anything less for you? The Lord is not surprised by the mess we have made of our lives through sin. Neither is His hand too short to save us from ourselves (Isaiah 59:1). Believe in God’s goodness today, trust in His mercy and find the redemptive part of your story!
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