By Pastor Joe Romeo
"A Message from Pastor Joe"
God always meets us in our hour of need, addressing us with a timely word designed to instruct and heal. As we assume the posture of a servant-student, inner stillness surges forth as a consequence of being undone and made whole by our handsome King.
I write as a witness to this truth. He met me this morning in Isaiah 31:1–32:20.
Note the context: Judah is in the midst of a serious, life and death, national crisis (sound familiar? Could this possibly be more relevant?). The Assyrians, Medo-Persians, and Babylonians are the major world powers of the era. To whom will Judah turn for help? Will they repent and turn back to God? To Isaiah’s dismay, Judah is looking to Egypt for rescue.
Times of personal or national crisis reveal where our hope truly lies. Since the story of the Old Testament saints is the story of us all, we learn that our natural propensity is to rely on something or someone other than God. Through the prophet Isaiah, however, God calls us to look to him, to trust in him, to rely on him, and to hope in him. Turning away from the God who is life itself always leads to death and disappointment.
Who or what are you ultimately trusting in? Trust in the God who reigns.
In the midst of these uncertain times, God reigns: “Never panicking, never at a loss of what to do, calmly in charge, perfect in wisdom, precise in action” (Alec Motyer). God’s fatherly reign evokes heartfelt trust, resilience, and unity. We must unite (even from a distance) to pray together, serve one another, and open our eyes to the needs around us. Call your brothers and sisters in Christ. Check in with your neighbors. Express gratitude to those working long hours, stocking shelves, and delivering groceries.
Finally, in spite of the current social disruption, continue to let new world impulses govern your life. Lay up treasure in heaven, invest in eternity (Matt. 6:19–21), fix your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2). We are not orphans, he will return (John 14:18), and we will see him face-to-face: “Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty” (Isa. 33:17).