Isaiah 40: 21-31
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by what’s happening in the world around us? There are so many voices constantly raised in anger, creating division and seeking to exclude. The scale of the task we’re facing can be disheartening. We can feel as if we’re making a stand for the values of God’s kingdom in the face of an insurmountable tide of hate and selfishness. How on earth can we even be heard, let alone have an impact? It’s easy to give up.
However, Isaiah 40 helps us to regain a sense of perspective, and to realise that we must not let the world and its skewed priorities prevent us from keeping the bigger picture in our sights. The Holy One portrayed here is an all-powerful being, on a scale far beyond our imagining, who ‘reduces the rulers of this world to nothing’, and for whom our concept of time and longevity is irrelevant. In that context we must place our hope in the Lord, and have faith that our efforts to bring about change in the world, small as they might be, can be blessed and bear fruit, whether we see that happen in our own lifetime or not.
We are also promised renewal of our strength when we hope in the Lord, but how do we keep that hope alive? As always, the answer comes from Jesus, whom we see, throughout what must have been an exhausting ministry, consistently spending many hours in prayer to gain strength and renewal. If he, who was and is one with God, needed such support, how much more should we be taking advantage of this door which is open to us? Turning to God in prayer is, in effect, our powerhouse, and we need to ensure that the cares of this world don’t crowd out our prayer time. If we place ourselves in God’s hands, and offer ourselves, imperfect as we are, in prayer, we will be given strength and perseverance to carry out work for God’s kingdom, and as we are reminded in Ephesians, the results may well be ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’.
-Fiona Gannon, Union of Welsh Independents
Lord, forgive us for being blinded by our worldly perspective, and attempting to confine you to the narrow limits of our human experience and understanding. Open our hearts to marvel anew at your love for us, and respond to it by turning constantly to you in prayer. Amen.
- Congregations to have a new passion and openness for serving Jesus through the CWM MSP-4 discipleship resource.
- Congregational ministers to have wisdom, strength and protection for themselves and their families.
- Churches worrying about the financial losses because of COVID-19 closures and the impact this will have.