What are we to do when everything seems to be hard-going?

Isaiah

22:1-25  –  Here, we read about ‘the Valley of Vision’ (1,5). The Lord Himself is to be our Vision: ‘Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art, Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light’ (Church Hymnary, 87). Down in the valley, the mountain-top experience seems a long way off. What are we to do when everything seems to be hard-going? When there seems to be no way out of the valley, no way back to the mountain-top, we must keep on ‘looking to Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:1-2). In the ‘valley’, we must learn to say, ‘My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God’. Let your ‘valley’ become your ‘valley of vision’, the place where you are learning to ‘turn your eyes upon Jesus’   (Mission Praise, 470,712).

23:1-18  –  ‘Look at the land of the Babylonians, this people that is now of no account!’ (13). To the nation which turns to Him, the Lord speaks His promise of blessing – ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord …’ (Psalm 33:12). To the nation which turns away from Him, God speaks His warning of judgment – ‘For lack of guidance a nation falls’ (Proverbs 11:14). We must choose. Will we choose to listen to the Lord, to submit our lives to Him, to follow the guidance He has given to us in His Word? Or, will we ignore Him and go our own way? The way of the Lord leads to blessing – ‘Righteousness exalts a nation’. The way of self leads to judgment – ‘sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). What will it be? – ‘Look at the Babylonians…!’ or ‘They will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).

24:1-23  –  ‘They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord, exalt the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One”’ (14-16). What a beautiful picture of a land that is enjoying God’s blessing, praising Him and giving glory to Him! Looking around us, we see a very different picture – ‘The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws… therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt’ (5-6). Can the dark picture of sin and guilt be turned into the brighter picture of salvation and rejoicing? God ‘is able to do so much more than we can ask for, or even imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). Be bold. Pray that God will send revival in our time.

25:1-26:9  –  ‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name… You have done marvellous things’ (25:1). We remember what God has done for us. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. We rejoice in Jesus Christ who died for us. We rejoice in Jesus Christ who rose again for us. We look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to the Day when ‘He will swallow up death for ever’. On that Day, ‘the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces’. On that Day, we will look back and say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us’. On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in His salvation’ (25:8-9). Here and now, let us learn to ‘trust in the Lord’. We can trust in Him ‘for ever’. He is ‘the everlasting Rock’ – ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (4; Psalm 95:1).

26:10-27:13  –  Jesus is our Saviour – ‘Lord, You establish peace for us’; ‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’. We cannot save ourselves. We can only look away from ourselves to Jesus – and be saved by Him: ‘all that we have accomplished You have done for us’; ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God’ (26:12; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8). Jesus is our Lord – ‘Lord, our God… You alone are our Lord’. How are we to live once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? – ‘Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him’. We are not to ‘keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness’. We are to live a life of ‘good works’ (26:13; Colossians 2:6; Romans 6:1; Ephesians 2:10).

3 thoughts on “What are we to do when everything seems to be hard-going?

  1. Pingback: 5th August: Isaiah 22-27 — Praying Through God’s Word | My Blogcatfishingforbeginners

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