Sunday, March 6, 2011
I am constantly amazed at how God can use His Word to speak to me, even when my weekly study takes me to different topics. God can converge those seemingly unrelated topics into one, like the tiny shards of lightning that unite to form one big ZAP. It shouldn't surprise me, but because I'm human (and a "bear of very little brain) it still does. I don't want to ever lose touch with that amazement.
I've been working on a study in Isaiah this year. Isaiah has his ups and downs. (He certainly has more ups than Ezekiel - believe me). One of my favorites characteristics of Isaiah is that, even during his gloomy messages, he manages to remind those in captivity (and us) that there is a bright spot, a silver lining, something to look forward to - The Messiah. Isaiah didn't know where or when or who - but he knew that he had to keep looking forward in hope to that day. Isaiah 40:31 says, "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Powerful words to cling to when that silver lining is hard to find.
So I started a new devotional this past week. Turns out it's topic is Hope..placing our hope in God's promises. Because God's promises are sure, then our hope will not be disappointed. Our faith and hope has to be in something (or Someone) that can actually deliver on those promises, or we are just kidding ourselves that they will be fulfilled. That idea really gave me something to turn over in my mind and ponder.
Then this morning, the following verses were read in our service (Colossians 1:15-20)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.
This is WHY those who Hope in the Lord will renew their strength: He is the creator of all things, so that He gives them their strength. This is WHY we place our Hope in His promises: He is before all things and in Him all things hold together, so that what He promises, He can deliver.
And this is WHY I love studying God's Word - because of those Lightning bolts that hit me when He works through His Word to show Himself to me.