The desire of God’s heart of grace isn’t just to make us pretty externally, but to create new & authentic beauty from the ashy, charred, deep parts of the soul. Physical health, material wealth, & personal happiness are nice, but not what I need most. My heart being changed by His loving heart of grace is what matters most.
With longings for lesser glory
Wasting my life by wishing for
That which has no Life or Light
The people were scared, terrified actually. Strong forces were joining to wage war against them, and their hearts trembled like the great trees in the forest bowing to the wind. Isaiah, the prophet, is sent with a very simple message: “Do nothing-be careful, quiet, watch your heart, and don’t let it be afraid.” God gave the message of hope to his people, because God knew what they could not know. His warning was clear: If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.
This way of faith seemed inadequate to the people. Isaiah didn’t budge. “I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face…I will hope in Him.”
But, the people wanted to control the future. Their hearts sought the false & the futile.
God promised joy to come. Would they believe? or would they choose to only hope in what they could see? God promised to give a royal son. His zeal would bring peace, joy, justice and righteousness without end.
The people who walked in darkness have see a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has a light shined.
You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy
at the harvest…For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For unto us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:2-3, 5-7
Seven centuries would pass before the birth of Christ. God masterfully designs His promise to span across the centuries and tells His people, “Do not fear; I will do it.”
Between 2 FINITE things there still remains some degree of proportion; for example, a drop of water exhibits some proportion to the ocean. But between the finite and the infinte, it is IMPOSSIBLE; the Psalmist writes, “Who is like Yahweh our God—the One enthroned on high, who STOOPS down to look on the heavens & the earth?”
Amazingly though, infinite God becomes a finite man–on purpose–in order to reconcile a very messed-up child back to a hallowed Father! The humiliation is mind-boggling!! Apalling wonder…God sends His own Son Jesus, who STOOPED, making voluntary descent from His elevation, “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He EMPTIED Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.”
e m p t i e d
The promise fulfilled. And so we wait again in calm assurance and quiet hope for our Lord Jesus to return. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.
Your Word, O LORD, is a forever Word, firmly fixed above us in the heavens, unmovable, unchanging, existing in permanent relevance. Your reliability is reality. And this world stands today; only because you rule. Ultimately, all things serve your will. In love, you call us to yourself, away from the ruin and destinies of pain in this world.
To any who believe, love, and trust you, Jesus, you have entrusted your good news of love and rescue to share, an exquisite, invaluable treasure offered to others in a vessel as weak as ourselves. Wow! You designed for your glorious love to be shared through us! It is like putting an one-0f-a-kind, priceless treasure in a disposable, red plastic cup, easily broken or tossed away. You allowed it to be this way on purpose, so that every one will know that the power came from you and never from us. So each new day, as we look to you, Jesus, a part of our old self dies; so that, your life in us, Jesus, is seen more and more by others. And as we fix our eyes on you, our Morning Star, we are being transformed into Your image, from one degree of glory to another. So, by your grace, every-day-dying is at work in us, so that your life, Jesus, is reflected, your Light in us. We are made to be in oneness with the Beauty we see.
“We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star.” ~ C. S. Lewis