Kaiah and I were casually chatting in the car when, mid-sentence, her eyes grew big and her body stiffened.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I forgot my shoes!” our teen blurted. She realized her ballet slippers were still in her bedroom two minutes after we left the house. Thankfully, we weren’t too far away from home. Quickly, I looked to see if there was any traffic coming from the opposite direction toward the intersection where I was positioned.
So I made a legal U Turn and backtracked. We still managed to make it on time with a few minutes to spare.
Poor Kaiah. That was her first day of dance at a new school and she was feeling uneasy about it. She tends to get nervous and anxious about new things. But each time, after delving into the unknown, our somewhat bashful teen typically adjusts well.
That day was no different. Though things got off to a rocky start, when I picked her up from class she was wearing a wide grin.
“That was fun!” she told me, flashing her silver braces with yellow and orange bands. Kaiah then proceeded to explain all she’d learned. Turns out, her fretting was for nothing.
Nevertheless, I understand her struggle.
When we don’t know what to expect, worry whispers lies in our ear and fills our mind with the worst, doesn't it?
This is why it’s essential to rebuke negative thoughts and believe the best, especially when you’re facing far more serious things than the first day of dance school jitters!
Life gets hectic. Tragedy comes. Difficult trials persist. You get introduced to brokenness, pain, discouragement and heartaches. I know I have. And it’s not easy when challenges seemingly outnumber solutions and problems feel overwhelming to you.
If, during these times of hardship, you focus on the storm instead of the Savior who has the power to calm it, you will drown in a sea of worry. That’s why you have to remember who you serve. Know that the One who has all power in His hands has your life in hands, too. He’ll take care of you, fight for you and deliver you out of your troubles.
In Isaiah 61, the words first spoken by the Prophet Isaiah and later ascribed to Jesus in Luke 4:18-21, are applicable to you.
These promises are yours.
One of my favorite portions of this beautiful chapter in Isaiah 61 is found in verse 3.
In the New Living Translation it says “…he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.” By God’s power, your mourning will turn into morning and your despair into praise.
In Isaiah, when the Prophet first spoke these words, the full revelation was not known. It wasn’t until Jesus went to a synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and began reading the scroll of Isaiah, that the passage was fully understood. After reading Isaiah’s words Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
In other words, He told the hearers, I am the manifestation of the words of the Prophet Isaiah. He is the manifestation of the Word.
According to John 1:1-4, Jesus is the “Logos” or the “Word”—God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh.
What we read in the pages of scripture is not just a collection of made up, lifeless stories. The Bible is true, alive, active and manifested through the person of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of every promise made to us.
In Isaiah 61, we are told what Jesus was anointed and sent to do. Here are three of those things:
- To comfort the brokenhearted
- To proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed
- To tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come
What good news!
Jesus’ message and ministry is to the distressed and broken. So if you are brokenhearted, Jesus is your comforter. If you are in bondage, Jesus will release you. If you are mourning, Jesus assures you that favor has come. If you have Jesus, you have comfort, release and favor.
No matter what you’re going through, you’ll make it. You’ll thrive.
Because you are victorious through Christ. You're more than a conqueror.
To help you declare and walk in victory, I’m stirring 1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, rejoice because you are victorious. In the middle of your trial, still send up praise for the inevitable triumph you’ll experience in due time.
Even if the odds are stacked against you, because the giver of comfort, release and favor is with you, you will still win in the end.
And that's cause to celebrate.
Now let’s pray.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.