My Dear Sisters, just as I was writing this post to you, a family urgency arose and I’m not going to be able to finish it. I’ve erased it and, in its place, put the segment of Scripture that I shared today in staff time before I got news of a serious family need. By faith, I choose to believe that this was what our gracious God wanted you to have today. It is a beautiful segment from Isaiah 41 that spoke very richly to us in staff and I pray will minister to you. (Vv.8-16) In it God is addressing Israel but, as you will see, many of the truths He speaks over them in this chapter concerning His heart toward them and His promise to help are echoed in the New Testament to believers under Christ’s new covenant. If you have a more formal translation like the ESV, consider reading it first then below you’ll find the portion in Eugene Peterson’s translation, The Message. Its vivid language jumped out at me and really tended to my soul. My staff and I printed it out and circled parts of it that the Holy Spirit brought to life in our own hearts and minds and amid our own circumstances. We also wrote notes in the margins and reminders of other coinciding verses and then, in our closing prayer, we let the passages guide our intercessions. You might consider doing the same thing. The two simple words “don’t panic” leapt off the page at me. So did this: “I, God, want to reassure you.” Thank You, thank You, Lord.
Here it is and you’ll find my SSMT entry at the end of the post.
Isaiah 41:8-16 The Message
8–10 “But you, Israel, are my servant.
You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
11–13 “Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you
will end up out in the cold—
Those who worked against you
will end up empty-handed—
nothing to show for their lives.
When you go out looking for your old adversaries
you won’t find them—
Not a trace of your old enemies,
not even a memory.
That’s right. Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.’
14–16 “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob?
Don’t be afraid.
Feel like a fragile insect, Israel?
I’ll help you.
I, GOD, want to reassure you.
The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
I’m transforming you from worm to harrow,
from insect to iron.
As a sharp-toothed harrow you’ll smooth out the mountains,
turn those tough old hills into loamy soil.
You’ll open the rough ground to the weather,
to the blasts of sun and wind and rain.
But you’ll be confident and exuberant,
expansive in The Holy of Israel!
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Is 41:8–16). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
For my SSMT selection, this is the portion I have next in my memory work out of the Book of Colossians:
Beth, Houston. For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ. Colossians 2:1-2
I love you guys so much. Let’s press on with eyes of faith, Sisters. He who calls us is faithful!
Tags: Scripture Memory 2013