Week 49 Day 2
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Is. 9:1-7 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
The prophets kept the vision of God in front of God’s waiting people. These “foreseers” and “forth talkers” were God-gifted to live with their feet in the present but their minds-eye in the future. Not just any future, a future where God would reign. Sure often their “intel” regarding the future included coming judgment, they never sugar coated the facts. But after the judgment there was also promise. God would rescue his people. God would restore his people. God would redeem his people. God would return for his people. The people of God have frequently lived for long periods of time in the darkness, the valley of the shadow. When you have lived long in death valley it can seem like this is all there ever has been and this is all there ever will be. So the prophets spoke to those waiting in dark times and spaces. They told them of another time and place when and where the light will dawn. Warrior’s boots will be burned in the fire along with the bloody garments of war. The oppressor’s shackles will be broken and the government of the peace-prince will be never ending. This bright future can feel like an unreality if you have waited long for it. A dawning light can seem like a distant dream because it has been perpetual night for so long now. This may all seem way to gloomy to describe your life right now. Maybe for you, for now…all is well. If so, then thank God but remember to cry out to him to help you set your hope fully on him not on the current “sunny days.” The temptation, when all is “light” is to put our confidence in things that will not ultimately hold. If your life is one of dark waiting right now you too can be tempted to misplace your hope. Your ultimate hope is not in a financial or relational or physical change for the better. You can pray and work and hope for those things, but you must put your ultimate hope in grace of the Lord Jesus. Lesser hopes can be good and God may grant them but only Jesus can hold as the anchor for your soul. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”(Hebrews 6:19)
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.