God is Good, All the Time
The affirmation that God is good is a warm sentiment when life is going right. But when we hit hard times, experience disappointment, and face moments of uncertainty we can be left with the question – is God good? Surveying key points in Scripture allow us to see that even in our most difficult moments, God shows Himself to be good, working out what is best for us, even when we cannot see it.
Learning to Wait
Wait upon the Lord is a familiar phrase of Scripture. Likewise, it can be a frustrating phrase to humans. We are prone to trust our plans and our power and forget to live in expectant hope of God’s plans and power. Learning to wait upon the Lord is key to relating to Him properly.
A Sure Foundation
It is essential that we have a firm foundation under our feet as we journey in life. There is no other foundation able to handle our life than the foundation of God’s faithfulness to us. We must examine our foundation to see what we are building our life on and make the necessary correction to ensure God alone is that sure foundation.
Transformed by Grace
God’s deepest hope for each of us is not just a simple, happy life. Nor is it limited to just making it to heaven. His deepest hope is your transformation into the kind of person fit for heaven, who then can truly live with real joy and peace. This can only happen when we have a genuine encounter with God. When we recognize Him for who He is, it humbles us in our sin, and then (and only then) can we be rebuilt by His grace. Transformation really takes off once we are then commissioned into God’s mission.
Hope & Humility
Isaiah lives in light of the tension of what is to come and what is currently going on. In Chapters 2-4 he bookends this passage with a vision of what the world will be once God makes all things right. In the middle, however, he reminds us of the harsh reality of where we currently stand. Human pride is the barrier to heaven. Therefore, humility is necessary for us to be ready for the ultimate hope of the world to come.
Who We Are
Self-awareness is crucial to transformation. While it is often painful, it is the initial step to making any meaningful change. God, through Isaiah, lays the foundation of self-awareness we need to recognize our true condition. We are sinful, rebellious, self-interested, impure, and even our best effort to worship God – if we are sinful – falls woefully short of honoring Him. We need more than what we can provide for justification before Him. We need a Savior and that is just what God provides.
The prophet Isaiah was a man commissioned by God to bring His people a vision. A clear, singular vision of reality about life from God’s perspective. This reality is hard at first, because it tells us the truth about our situation – that we are ungrateful rebels against our Creator. But if you stick with God’s reality it also includes unbelievable truths – that we have a God who can and wants to save, and He is preparing a world of perfection for those who trust Him.
Father Abraham Had Many Sons
The life of Abraham was marked by faithfulness and trust in the promises of God, which was “imputed to him as righteousness.” In the gospel, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to those whose lives are marked by faithfulness. Salvation is not found in stellar law-keeping, but rests in simple Abrahamic faith in, and obedience to, the promise of God to raise up all who believe and to give them an eternal inheritance.
The lingering fear behind our lack of giving is the concern that we wont have enough. Often our hearts long to give more, because we were designed to give, but our sinful minds whisper lies about scarcity. Forced to ask ourselves if we really trust God, giving pushes us to discover the continual generosity of God to always supply our needs.
Decide and Do
Becoming a giver is a matter of discipline. Upon evaluating our income, along with our necessities, God asks us to decide how much we want to give and then make a commitment to follow through. Giving must become a discipline based on commitment, not a reaction to ups and downs.