Promises for the Journey Isa. 41:8-10 ebc 4/11/10
Some years ago Warren Wiersbe was sent this note: Years ago, one of my radio listeners sent me a motto that has often encouraged me: “Look at others, and be distressed. Look at yourself, and be depressed. Look to God, and you’ll be blessed!” This may not be a great piece of literature, but it certainly contains great practical theology. When the outlook is bleak, we need the uplook. “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things...for He is strong in power.
At this time in the history of Israel they were in bad straights- both physically and spiritually.
Isa. 40:1-4, 8,21-22, 26,28.
When, like Israel of old, you face a difficult task and an impossible tomorrow, do what they did and remind yourself of the greatness of God. Why does God make promises to us. Because of the impossibility of the journey we are on without his help. We has promised he will help us thru life.
I. God is greater than our circumstance (40:1-4) Someone has defined “circumstances” as “those nasty things you see when you get your eyes off of God.” If you look at God through your circumstances, He will seem small and very far away; but if by faith you look at your circumstances through God, He will draw very near and reveal His greatness to you.
A. God’s pardon (1-2)-
1. So many times we get discouraged that due to our past lives God can’t use us. We forget that we are still his children and that he still wants to get glory out of our lives.
2. Although He may chasten us, he will never forget us nor forsake us.
3. Speak ye comfortably means speak straight to the heart.
B. God’s providence (3-5)
1. The Jews were having a hard time as they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. But, God promised that he would go before them and pave the way.
a. Sometimes our path is not an easy one to take but God has promised that he will blaze the way and our job is to just trust Him as He guides us. Even in times of heartache.
C. God’s promises (6-8)-
1. All flesh is grass- Assyria is gone Babylon is gone like the grass nations come and go but the word of God will be sustained forever.
a. Psa. 37:1-2-
b. 1 Peter 1:24-25-
2. God promises as we go on our earthly journey we can count on Him for strength and guidance.
II. God is greater than our fears (41:10-13)
Seven times the Lord tells them to “fear not”. As this remnant faced many difficult days they could be encouraged that the Lord would be with there and would give them success. Deut. 31:7-8
Why do we not have to be fearful?
A.God will strengthen us
1.God will give us the power to see every day to it’s conclusion.
a. How about those times you want to say something hateful to someone. God will give you the strength to say something nice. When you do say something hateful it’s because you choose to do that.
b. 2 Cor. 12:9-
1. The Apostle Paul understood what it meant to be pushed to the very limit of life. Accordingly he knew a lot about struggles, hardships and trials. But what was most important to him was through all these things for God to be glorified.
We can learn from him the that the prelude to great strength is great weakness. An important lesson that we can learn is that in our weakest moments-when we feel the most desperate- are the times when God is free to do his greatest work.
The only way to have conviction about the Lord's adequacy is to experience weakness and the strength that spouts from it. Jim Cymbala- Pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle- the most mature Christian is the one bent over leaning most heaveily on the Lord and admiting his total inability to do anything without Christ. We never reach a place where we can live victoriouly without his grace in our lives. Only his spirit can produce fruit in our lives.
B. God will support us
1. He will give us what we need to continue on in our service to Him
a. Phil. 4:19-
2. He gave us love- the greatest love known to mankind
3. He gave us companionship- he has promised never to leave nor forsake us
C. God will sustain us
1. God will keep us and guide us throughout the journey to Heaven. He didn’t save us to abandon us along the way.
a. 1 Peter 1:5- kept- present tense- action that has happened in the past with continuing results. A military term which means we are constantly bearing guarded by God assuring us that we will land in Heaven. We need to understand that we aren’t kept by our works but by the power of God.
III. God is greater than our enemies (45:1-5)
These verses deal with the overthrow of the pagan nation Babylon. Jehovah reveals himself as the one true and living God who is mightier than dead idols. Adrian Rogers- Once I had the rare opportunity of visiting with Corrie Ten Boom. I drank in her words. I listened and kept my mouth shut. One of her statements went straight to my heart: “There is no panic in heaven, only plans.” That is how God operates — no panic. Did you know the Holy Trinity never meets in an emergency session? God has never stepped down from His throne. Jesus has not left His right hand, and the Holy Spirit has not stopped interceding for you, His child. Refuse to listen to Satan’s lies of fear, discouragement, and despair. You are a victor. And God is in control!
A.His description of Cyrus (1)
1. His anointed-
a. Just as prophets, priests, and kings were anointed for service, so Cyrus was anointed by God to perform his special service for Israel’s sake. In this sense Cyrus was an anointed one. God called him by name over a century before he was born! Cyrus was the human instrument for the conquest, but it was Jehovah God who gave the victories.
b. 1. Isa. 44:28- concerning Cyrus.
1. Cyrus may have thought he was doing his will but actually he was doing the will of God. The Roman soldier were totally unaware that they were working for God at Jesus’ crucifixion.
2. Sometimes we forget that God can use even unconverted world leaders for the good of His people and the progress of His work.
3. Isa. 45:1-5, 13-
4. Rom. 9:17-
B. His care over us
1. Psa. 139:13-16-