Isaiah 42:4 “He will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope.”
These nine verses are very clearly and explicitly Messianic, but every time I run into a Messianic passage I remember what Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) On that basis, I believe that, with a few obvious exceptions, Messianic passages apply to every believer who is abiding in Christ. We aren’t called Christians for nothing! What speaks to me from this verse right now is the line about “not falter or be discouraged.” Next month I hit 34 years of ministry in this city, and current attendance in our Sunday morning services runs around 10. That can easily be discouraging! However, as Paul said, we live by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) I am also touched by the last line in this verse, because I minister in the island nation of Japan. The image of the islands “waiting in hope” for the Word of the Lord is a glorious one indeed. We do not always see the fruit of our labors in this life, but God keeps track.
Stress and busyness eat away at our emotional margins and make us vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. I set up tomorrow for a photo show in the City Gallery that starts the next day, and that has certainly depleted my reserves. I believe that is an opportunity the Lord has given me, and with the theme of “God’s Creation,” it is an opportunity to witness to people who have never been in a church. Accordingly, I should not be anxious, but know that God will enable me to do everything He calls me to do. There are a few details yet to be finalized and a lot of work in setting up, but I know from experience that God will supply both the wisdom and the energy necessary. Meanwhile, I have the service this morning and the Bible Class this afternoon. I need to rest, relax, and rejoice in my Lord, focusing on the task at hand and not being preoccupied with the next thing on my list, so that I will be fully available for God to use me however He chooses, and not try to decide on my own how that is going to be.
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the encouragement You give me through Scripture and through other members of the Body of Christ. Help me indeed not “falter or be discouraged” before I have completed all the work You have prepared in advance for me to do, (Ephesians 2:10) for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!