In Isaiah 54 God promises not to hide his face permanently from Israel. As such, it provides an extended statement of God’s steadfast love—a beautiful illustration of how God provides for and stewards his people.
What’s the appropriate response to so great an overture of undeserved forgiveness? As stewards of God’s grace and peace, we owe it to the rest of our world to spread the news and share the bounty.
Christian apologist and novelist C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) writes of a vision of a time and place where goodness, gratitude and peace will reign. As Christians each of us is somewhere along the route; we’re poised at varying points along the spectrum of eternity.
I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, … it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes. But this is near the stage where the road passes over the rim of our world. No one’s eyes can see very far beyond that: lots of people’s eyes can see further than mine.
No matter how far ahead our squinting eyes can see, the stark fact is that we simply aren’t there yet; both Lewis’s vision and God’s share a future element that calls our praise up short every time. Our gratitude here and now takes an effort. It’s a stewardship thing. Author Beth Moore reflects:
This morning I called my firstborn and could tell she was having a rough Monday morning. Like many of us working girls, she was trying to get her home in order after a busy weekend and still make it to her desk on time. There’s nothing like trying to be Domestic Goddess and Employee of the Week at the same time, is there, Sister? I told her that one of the most powerful mood changers God had ever taught me was to open my mouth and say, “I choose joy. I may not feel it, but God has appropriated it and I choose it.” About an hour later, I received the following e-mail from her …
See if you can relate to this:
“I’m choosing joy … The Lord has refreshed my spirit and given me a new perspective. What a minute cross I have to bear on any given day. I had to repent of being a spineless clot of grievances. Honestly, I would be an absolute MESS without the Lord! I need Him more and more every day!”
God, remind me that your love is steadfast. In a world of constant change, I thank you for your gifts, and I praise you for who you are.