While they were…
While they were in the midst of Babylonian captivity, Israel received a message from God via Isaiah, telling them to take comfort, because God’s glory was about to be revealed. Isaiah was told to speak words of encouragement (Isa. 40:1-5), telling the people that captivity was over, although they could not yet see the evidence of it. He said, “Get ready to go home. This is over.” It must have been hard for them to accept and believe.
I’ve not experienced anything on the level of the captivity, but right now, I’m feeling like I’m facing the biggest challenge of my life. I’m facing what looks like an almost insurmountable obstacle in ministry. Yet I hear Isaiah’s words of encouragement and take heart. “Help is on the way. Deliverance is already accomplished. ‘For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.'”
Brennan Manning puts it this way, “God is saying in Jesus that in the end everything will be all right. Nothing can harm you permanently, no suffering is irrevocable, no loss is lasting, no defeat is more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive. Jesus did not deny the reality of suffering, discouragement, disappointment, frustration, and death; he simply stated that the Kingdom of God would conquer all of these horrors, that the Father’s love is so prodigal that no evil could possibly resist it.”