Isaiah 26:19 But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy.
Your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.
This is a pretty magnificent prophecy! It brings to mind the vision God gave Ezekiel of the valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-14) What God was saying to both Isaiah and Ezekiel wasn’t necessarily physical resurrection, because our physical bodies eventually wear out, but He was talking about restoration and spiritual renewal in a hopeless situation. He was reminding the prophets, and us through them, of the reality that as Creator God, He can do anything at all. We have such trouble getting that through our heads! The specific line in this verse that strikes me is the instruction to “Wake up and shout for joy.” The Japanese says “sing for joy,” which appeals to me as a musician, but the message is clear in any case. We get so beaten down by circumstances sometimes it’s like we’re in a coma, but God is telling us to wake up and rejoice! The path of faith is to know that God is still God regardless of how things look to our five senses and our human intellect, and trust and praise Him for who He is. His plan is likely to be something we would never have dreamed up, but it will be good, and we need to trust Him with that.
This is spot on for what we have been through and where we are now as a church. In numbers we are down to what would barely qualify as a “home fellowship” in most places, but God has given us the vision of Omura again being the foremost Christian city in the nation. The difference between where we are now and where God is saying we are going to be is no less dramatic than resurrection! The point is to focus fully on God and His omnipotent love, forgetting our human frailty and failings, and rejoice in Him. It’s been several years now since He told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’m still learning how to do that. Over the past week and a half He has renewed me a great deal, but I still have plenty of room to grow as His child. I am to be grateful that He hasn’t given up on me, and won’t, and trust Him with the final outcome, both of my life and of this church.
Father, thank You for this reminder, and for all You are doing. It is remarkable to me how small, relatively insignificant things impact me at times. Help me receive the many signs of Your love and grace that You shower down on me, allowing You to strengthen me against every onslaught of the enemy, so that the devil’s schemes may be defeated and Your kingdom come indeed, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!