“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” Isaiah 25:1
How much do you trust God? Many people of faith praise God when times are easy, but fret when times are challenging. Our tendency is to fret over the storms of today without realizing that from eternity past to eternity future, God has a plan and controls everything.
Isaiah was a prophet during the later days of Israel as it experienced a downward spiral into exile. The nation was threatened from within by leaders who failed to follow God. Further, the nation was threatened by social issues that rooted in selfishness and greed. Many were oppressed. Most were compromised in their faith. Enemies were constant. Reprieve was rare.
In the darkness, men like Isaiah, called for a renewed trust in God’s plan. Instead of seeing life out of control, Isaiah saw God completely in charge. Note Isaiah’s perspective on times like we face today.
Isaiah saw the Lord as His God. The prophet didn’t need a popularity vote to know where God stood. In his heart, Isaiah saw God as more than just a winner. For Isaiah, God was everything. When God is considered an accessory for times of trouble, our hearts wonder what to do. When God is considered our life, our hearts are peaceful and calm. The more Eternal God is our life, the less we will be intimidated by temporary storms that come.
Isaiah saw the events of life as a part of God’s eternal plan. From the beginning of time, God’s plans have been accomplished. Man may not know what those plans are, and many will try to change where we are headed, but God remains completely in charge, orchestrating each moment of each event aimed toward the ultimate climax of His victorious return.
In verse four, Isaiah describes the Lord as a stronghold for the oppressed, a shelter in the storm, and a shade from the heat. While we may hear the shout of men trying to overturn God’s sovereignty, believers need only the quiet presence of God to find shelter from the storms and relief from the heat oppressing them.
If you find yourself perplexed by all that the year 2020 has presented, remind yourself that this year like all others will go into the history book is but a speck in time. The unchanging truth is that God is not scrambling to develop a new strategy to face new threats. The eternal plan of God remains unchanged, immoveable, and victorious. All we need is to focus on God’s plan instead of man’s rants.
Maybe you have felt the relief in the afternoon sun when a cloud high above silently covered you from the incessant heat. Your cry was for relief. Your focus was the sun. But, God’s answer was a silent movement high above that immediately changed your perspective. Focus on your God and you will find your answer!
Dr. John Temple is chaplain of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. From the Shepherd’s Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.