From the Farthest Regions – Isaiah 41

Even when we think we have placed ourselves far away from the loving hand of God, He is actually close at hand.  The Lord is always watching over us and protecting us, despite any poor choices or unfaithful actions we might have made.  He is gently calling out for us to return to Him, our great hope, and to enjoy the blessing and goodness that a purified life in Him can give.

God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to His people despite the fact they had turned their backs on Him and were following false gods and idols down a path of self-destruction.

“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

God is also speaking to us through Isaiah.  Whether by birth or by being grafted in through the loving sacrifice of Christ, people of faith today are still brought close to God through His friend, Abraham.  The Lord chose Abraham to begin His work of reconciliation with the world, and Abraham is the first member of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and our Redeemer.

We, too, are chosen by God to be His servants, to do the work of the kingdom here on earth.  That usually involves serving others to meet their need in a manner that draws them closer to God.  They are able to see God’s love in our actions or hear His tender words through our love, as the Holy Spirit leads.  God will do the real work, confirming in their hearts that He is real, He cares, and that He wants a personal love relationship with them.

God knows that we are weak and often fearful.  He wants to remove our fears and to strengthen our weaknesses so that we may enjoy this life’s journey of walking with Him.  While there will often be obstacles to cause us anxiety or distress, He will work to either remove them for us or to help us to carefully walk around them.  He will bless and guide us to help move on with our lives, putting these burdens and cares behind us, once and for all.

When God is holding us in His righteous right hand, nothing can prevail against us.  The darkest clouds may gather to threaten us and cause great fear and trembling, but as a friend once counseled me in a dark hour, “if God wants you to stay, they could not blast you out with dynamite”.  And as it turned out, he was absolutely correct.

God chooses us from the farthest regions of the earth.  I pray to one day meet the people who have read this blog in heaven, and perhaps you will tell me that I, too, was from the farthest reaches of the globe.  I hope so.  The invention of the internet and the growth of English as a second or third language makes this all quite possible.

May God richly bless and protect you! Brother Bruce

Reflection

What are the biggest sources of anxiety and fear for you today?  Have you brought them before the Lord?  He loves to help us and to reveal His great love for each one of us.

The Lord promises to strengthen us when we are weak and to be with us at all times, casting out all our fears.  When God is for us, who can prevail against us?  No one.

If you are walking far away from the Lord right now and wish that you could be closer to Him, wait no longer.  He is right there, reaching out to you in love. Call out His name, He will come to you.

Lord, thank You for being right here and loving me, despite my sinfulness and unworthiness.  Wash me clean by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.  I turn to You and cast all of my anxieties and fears upon You – thank You for taking them away from me and holding me in Your righteous right hand.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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