December 2, 2015 Advent theme: Faith
The Advent scripture for today is Isaiah 40:1-5.
These words were written to God’s people about the time they were going to be released from oppression and captivity that had lasted for many years. In these verses, there is promise of hope and freedom. Through his words, Isaiah is saying hang on, don’t give up. Get on the road with God and stay there. Keep your faith in him. Do you have faith? Do you keep that faith? There’s a difference. When we keep our faith in God it means that our trust in his ways is so deep, we know he’ll bring us through our darkest days and toughest trials. We trust him in the dark for what he promised us in the light. Having faith is the beginning of our relationship with God. We know he will take care of us and supply all our needs and some of our wants – maybe even a lot of our wants.
When life is calm with only a few subtle irritations, we skate joyfully along in our contentment. Then it happens. Painful circumstances spring up in our path and in this cycle of defeat we’re slammed to the ground. Then what? We question God. We’re in a dilemma. We get confused because isn’t God supposed to be taking care of us? This is when we discover the crossroads of having faith and keeping faith. Will we shed our faith and resign from God’s promises? Or will we claim His promises even more and resolve to keep our faith knowing that God is in control, He has the master plan, and even though we can’t see beyond this moment, God can. All He asks is that we stay on His path and keep our faith. KEEP OUR FAITH in God.
Here in the Message translation is the text of today’s advent scripture. Read the contrasts that describe the promises of God to his children who keep their faith in Him. Isaiah 40:1-5
1-2 “Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem,
but also make it very clear that she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven! She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.”
3-5 Thunder in the desert! “Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God. Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks. Then God’s bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as God has said.”