“Sometimes I ask God, ‘Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?’ They’re out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, taunting day after day, ‘Where is this God of yours?’ I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down. You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born.”
Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.
“God, you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for you, traveling across dry and weary deserts.So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; my arms wave like banners of praise to you.”
I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back home to the place from which I sent you off. You can count on it.
“The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace—a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—and to comfort all who mourn, to care for the needs of all who mourn, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them ‘Oaks of Righteousness’ planted by God to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new.
We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort. He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
Hope is found in knowing that God’s Word is alive and speaks quite clearly to us if we only take the time to listen to what the Lord has to say and understand that sometimes it requires us putting the pieces together; Psalm 42: 9-10, Psalm 51:3-6, Isaiah 43:18-19, Psalm 63:1-4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Isaiah 61:1-4, and 2 Corinthians 1:4-5.