We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. Yet who of His generation protested? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After He has suffered, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:2-11)

 

Because of the pandemic, this Advent season is unlike any before.

 

Do you find yourself waiting and longing for “normal life” to return, wondering if it will ever come again?

 

In 740 B.C., the nations of Israel and Judah worried and wondered while living under the threat of invasion and captivity. The prophet Isaiah repeatedly called their kings to trust in God instead of alliances with neighboring nations.

 

In dark, frightening times, God spoke words of hope through the prophet Isaiah about the coming Messiah, Israel’s Deliverer. He predicted where He would come from, what He would be like, what He would do and what would happen to Him. Each prediction was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

 

God cares as much for you as He did for Israel and Judah. He knows your struggles and the challenges you face. He offers you the same hope He offered them through your relationship with Jesus.

 

Has this pandemic season left you struggling? Look to Him and trust His plan.

 

As you prepare your heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, remember and reflect on Isaiah’s words about who Jesus is and what He did for you. Thank Him for loving you enough to endure that suffering for your sake. Thank Him that He is greater than whatever you’re facing.

 

Pray and Reflect

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

 

On paper, list every worry you can think of.

Read and write out Philippians 4:6-7 across that list.

Give all those worries to God.

Thank Him for taking care of them.

Demonstrate your “letting go” by tearing up the list and throwing it away. (written by Mike Chapman)

Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy hill, For holy is the LORD our God. Psalm 99:9

© 2020 by IHBC

 

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