Thursday, July 31


“He will not lose hope or courage”. 
Isa 42:4 GNB

For many people life is one long struggle. Some meet every setback with courage and determination. They turn adversity to their advantage. They find an opportunity in every crisis. Some of them overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Others get going and start with enthusiasm, but their interest wanes, they get bored or discouraged and disillusionment sets in. Some then become bitter, unproductive and miserable. 

The Israelite exiles in Babylon faced deep disappointment. They had been defeated just a hundred and forty years after their cousins in the northern half of Israel had. Far away from home, many of them were far away from hope as well. In the depressing thoughts of many, the original promise of God that Israel would be blessed by him, had been proved to be false by the predicament they now found themselves in. They were not only far from home. They were far from hope as well. Into this situation the prophet Isaiah brought his concept of the servant of the Lord. Whatever the state of their emotions, he would not only care for them, he would hold such a strong faith that he would keep hope burning brightly. He would not be overwhelmed by the disasters that had befallen them. He would not lose heart. He would sing through the darkest night. 

Of course, in one sense Jesus was the Servant of God. Christ fulfilled all that Isaiah had prophesied, and provided the servant-God the whole world needed. Faced with bitter and conspiratorial opposition, he did not lose heart. He went to the cross out of sheer love for those who were opposing him. In your more humble role as servant, don’t lose heart or hope either . 

Lord, replenish my courage when the lamp of hope burns low.