11 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
12 “I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass,
13 and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 He who is bowed down shall speedily be released; he shall not die and go down to the pit, neither shall his bread be lacking.
15 I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is his name.
Whether it’s a hard week at work, a tough conversation, or even a ride on the Thunderbird at Holiday World, we’ve all had things that were were dreading. We look forward to that moment when it’s over. Oh man, then, THEN I will be able to relax and chill. I can’t wait till it’s done.
God gave His people some pictures of that before they went through hard times. Through Isaiah, God corrected the people that were deep in sin and unfaithfulness, but He also reminded them of how great it would be when the discipline was over.
Some of those pictures are also pictures of Heaven, or even of the Christian life once Jesus has paid for our sins and sent His Holy Spirit to live in us. God brings about some of these pictures, or maybe a print of the original oil painting, in our current days. Some of this happens before the end of the world and death is swallowed up in victory.
But some of them are saved for the end.
With the knowledge of the end, sometimes the middle and during is a LOT more bearable. Once you realize the Thunderbird isn’t so bad, you end up asking the little 17 year old with the button if you can just stay in your seat instead of going through the line again. You start signing up for another round of working in the nursery during church, because it wasn’t as bad as you’d thought.
So what if we brought that kind of thinking from Heaven and into our current state? How would you worship your way through your day if you knew that in reality, everlasting joy is being put on your head like you ordered it from Amazon and it’s “Out For Delivery?” How would you work for your boss if you knew that God would obliterate and destroy all oppressors? What kind of boss would that make you?
Sometimes knowing what it will be like in the end is helpful and shapes what it will be like in the during. You will obtain gladness and joy and sorrow and sighing will flee away. It’s true!
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