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In the present economic crisis, many people are unsure where to turn for help and encouragement. Can any government or any of the world’s leaders really paint a picture of hope for the future? Certainly, political leaders all appear to want to promote their own ‘unique vision’ for their respective country: Is there really a ‘vision for the future’ that can help lift us out of the present gloom?
The prophet Isaiah had worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem all his life. It was the place where God was supposed to dwell and the only true place of worship for Jews at that time. Yet Isaiah, like many Jews of his generation, came to the temple, burdened, just as most Christians often attend church today, with frustrations and concerns from which there seems no hope of escape. God just doesn’t seem to be there when we need him most.
We know that God exists and that he has power to reach into our lives and change and shape both the present and the future for us, but he seems so remote; even in those places where we would most expect to find him and where his presence should be most keenly felt.
This was Isaiah’s experience too. Yet, one day, he left the temple a changed man. His life became instantly filled with a sense of purpose and, from then on, his enthusiasm and zeal for God knew no bounds. Isaiah’s experience can be ours too.
Isaiah was given a vision of God (Isaiah 6:1-8) which not only filled the temple but filled him also with hope and renewed strength; enabling him to see beyond his present difficulties and the problems which beset the nation. The old king had just died yet the nation was still torn by internal divisions and strife and also faced imminent danger from without. Although the king, who had been one of the few remaining symbols of stability, may now be dead, Isaiah was reminded that God was still on his throne and all would be well if the nation would only look to him for deliverance.
All nations now appear to face difficult times ahead, with so much uncertainly following the revelation that we could be heading for the worst economic downturn since World War II. Western leaders are under immense pressure to find ways of avoiding a serious economic recession (if they’re country is not already in one). Perhaps you have been personally affected by the current crisis.
Sometimes God allows us to be emptied, to the point that we become weak and dispirited, just so he can fill us with his spirit and with his strength. We only need to have the eyes of faith to see that he is not only there but that he is indeed there for us. And to quote the apostle Paul: “If God is for us, who can be against us.” (Romans 8:31b NIV)
We need to pray for a fresh vision of God
Cambridge, England - firstname.lastname@example.org
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