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Joy
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 56

What a lovely reminder this chapter is of how welcome we all are in God’s Kingdom.

All that God requires of us is that we follow Jesus. We do not have to be born into faith.

We need no long family history of faithful service in a church. 

We do not need to be a particular physique, or cultural background.

We need no qualifications other than our acceptance of Jesus as our Saviour and the desire to follow Him. 

There is a warning. Those who sit in religious institutions and claim to be holders of faith, but do not listen to God or follow Him. Instead preferring to follow false teachings and not spending time personally reading the Bible and in prayer with God. These people will be cast out. They are blind.

Do not allow yourself to be discouraged by such people.

They do not know God.

Trust God’s love for you.

Trust His approval of you.

Know the Joy He sends you because He loves you and wants you and delights in you.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 55

Come to the waters and drink and your soul will delight in the riches of fare. (v1-2)

This is such a beautiful chapter of Isaiah. The blessing of God. The offer of a drink that quenches all thirst. The drink that requires no money and comes free.

Food that fills and satisfied and is completely free.

Of course this food and drink is not for the  physical body, but for our souls.

God pours His blessings out because He loves us, not because we deserve it.

He offers to teach us. He offers to be found when we seek Him.

God offers us a way of living that is totally different to our way of living.

Good things will grow because of God’s blessing.

And this will bring us Joy. We will know peace. All the earth will sing praise to God.

And we will join in.

Joy comes from God. It is His gift.

May you know God’s Joy today.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 54

The joy of this chapter is that which God attributes to the childless woman because she will have so many descendants she will need a bigger tent. God pours blessings on her head after she has seemingly been left alone for so long. 

Of course this is a metaphor for God’s people. This is God’s promise after the people were removed from the promised land as judgement and exiled. Now God is promising He will bring them back.

When I commenced my bible studies years ago, my tutor told me there are layers of meaning in the Bible. There is the original meaning, and meanings that apply at points in the future. This is not giving us permission to take passages out of context and attribute meanings that were never intended. It is about accepting that the words apply to many different points in history.

So how does this meaning apply to today and the subject of Joy?

This chapter is about abundance. God blessing you so richly it is like a childless woman who is given an abundance of descendants. It is about God remembering you when you thought He had forgotten you. 

It is about the long dark time when Joy seemed impossible to find and God seemed to have left you alone.

It is about God turning on the light and dispelling the dark and filling you with an abundance of blessings. So many blessings that your Joy overflows.

This is not a “and they all lived happily ever after” scenario. As you read through the chapter, you can see that God still talks about the people having troubles, but what He tells them is that things will still work out alright.

It is important to remember that. 

Darkness comes. Hard times come. It seems as though God has forgotten you. It seems as though He has left you.

But in the end. Joy is there at just the right time.

There is the promise.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 52

This reading speaks of the joy of the people of Israel when they were redeemed. It speaks of the joy of being back in God’s favour. Of the time of suffering ending and access to God reinstated.

We have read of this type of joy in this blog series already. The joy of knowing God is with us. The joy of feeling Him back with us after a time in darkness when it didn’t seem He was near at all.

That is a great joy.

But there is more to this. There is the joy of expectation. The watchmen in verse 8 wait patiently and expectantly to see God redeem His people. Their joy is based on the belief that God will return. Their joy is one of anticipation, as well as the joy they will feel when they are redeemed.

There is the possibility when we are in dark places that we can choose to anticipate joy. Maybe we will and maybe we won’t. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do this. Sometimes we need to be sad and feel lost. Other times we can choose to feel Joy at God’s plan. This chapter of Isaiah is a reminder of that.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 51

“I, I’m the One comforting you.
    What are you afraid of—or who?
Some man or woman who’ll soon be dead?
    Some poor wretch destined for dust?
You’ve forgotten me, GOD, who made you,
    who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth.
And here you are, quaking like an aspen
    before the tantrums of a tyrant
    who thinks he can kick down the world. (The Message v12-13)

I read a comment this week that is very pertinent in this time of pandemics, misinformation and world leaders who want to cling to power no matter what. It spoke of the blurring of the line between honouring God and placing Him first and putting nationalism and national leaders ahead of God.

God is the God of all Creation. He is the God of all people. He is not the God of Europeans. He is the God of all people. It is something important to remember.

God said we shall have no other Gods beside Him (Exodus 20:3). He meant it. There is too great a tendency for people to place their leader’s above God. There is too great a tendency for leaders to place themselves above God.

It is time to stop this. True Joy lies in God alone. Joy is the reward for our love and faithfulness.

Joy comes from God’s comfort.

Joy comes from God’s provision.

Joy comes from God’s miracles.

Nothing comes from national identity or our leaders.

It is time we stood as followers of Jesus of all peoples on earth, not as followers in a particular country. We are God’s people and we speak many languages, observe many cultures and have multi coloured skin. We are of the world. We are of God’s creation.

That is a source of great Joy.

 

 


 
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Nan
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