by Jeff McAlvey
The last year has been hard, very hard. We’ve endured a pandemic, social justice issues, unrest in our cities, and a very contentious election. Each by itself would have been challenging. All together it has been overwhelming, exhausting. Most of us at various times have experienced discouragement, loneliness, confusion and/or anger. There has been turmoil on social media, in families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and sadly even in our churches. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find both my countenance and my head down.
Fortunately, we know as Christians where to turn. As David tells us in Psalm 3, the Lord “is the lifter of our head.” He does that most often for us through his word. There is no other place where we can find his wisdom, perspective, and comfort. I have no wisdom of my own to offer for this devotion. I learned early in my eldering that often the most important thing I can do is to point people to Scripture. So, let me offer three verses that have been helpful to me these past months. I encourage you to consider and meditate on them this week.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:6
Doesn’t it seem like this was written just for 2020? These are just the words I have so often needed to hear…don’t fear or be dismayed, I am your God!
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory! And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke”. Isaiah 6:1-5
There have been days when the best thing I can do for my soul is to focus on the glory of the Lord. Meditating on Isaiah’s vision helps me to do that better than any other Scripture. Plus, it reminds me that just as King Uzziah died, presidents will also die, pandemics will fade away, but the King of Glory is eternal.
But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses so the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor 12:9
This verse reminds me that God knows where I am emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and He will provide what I need. Not only that, but He actually uses my weakness and struggles for my good and His glory. I have not yet to come to the place where I’m boasting in my weaknesses, but I am comforted in them.
God’s word is such a treasure! These verses have been a great encouragement to me, I hope they are to you as well. I’d love to hear what verses have especially spoken to you in these past months.