(Today's post by Chris Queen)
People love happy endings. There’s something unsettling about a movie or television episode that ends badly or in some unresolved way. When circumstances are at their darkest, we look to the satisfying ending we expect to emerge.
When the Israelites went into exile, they were at that dark moment in the plot – and it was a direct result of repeatedly sinning and turning their backs on God. However, the prophet Isaiah delivers a message to the people from the Lord that promises a happy ending:
43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Wow! God could have left the people of Israel wallowing in their sins, stranded in a foreign land.However, in His infinite, unfailing love He promised to deliver them, just as he had from the Egyptians many generations before.
What’s the takeaway from this? If nothing else, be encouraged even when you’re in the most difficult of circumstances. If you’ve given your life to God, if you’re a follower of His, He is with you, He has redeemed you, and you are precious and honored in His sight. He will deliver you, and there’s an ultimate happy ending found in His story of redemption. What’s more encouraging than that knowledge?