The Reassurance of Truth ~ Isaiah Series ~ Part 6
~ Isaiah Series ~
The Reassurance of Truth
Like a child having bad dreams in the middle of the night, being held tight by our loving parent and told everything is going to be okay, we consistently need God’s reassurance. We need to hear the truth of who He is, the truth about what He has promised, and the truth about who we are. No matter how many times we’ve heard it before, we need to hear it yet again.
As I dove into Isaiah 49, the central text we studied last weekend at church, I was, once again, struck with gratitude because that whole “reassurance thing” seems to be exactly what God was doing. He was yet again so graciously reminding His kids about all of this truth.
In a time when the Israelites were feeling rather lost and confused and in need of guidance, God swooped in, like a loving parent in the middle of a child’s night terrors, and reminded them that He will always be available to comfort them and to have compassion on them no matter how afflicted they may be (v. 13). He reminded them that His true identity— His very name— is Yahweh, Redeemer, Holy One, Faithful, Sovereign, Savior, Mighty One (v. 7, 22, 26). He reminded them that He cares about the entire world (v. 6); that He has chosen them, that He will answer them, and that He will help them and guide them (v. 7, 8, 10). And, despite the fact that His kids may at times feel forsaken and forgotten, and despite how “ruined and made desolate” things may seem to them (or to us!), God promised to never forget His beloved children (v. 14-15). (P.S. If you want to get your world rocked in a great way, please listen to or watch the message Pastor Steve Madsen just shared about this last weekend. So powerful.)
So… Why does God continue to repeat Himself in this way throughout scripture? Why does He consistently remind His kids about Himself, about His promises, and about who He has created them to be?
Well, from my experience, I would say it is because we (at least I!) need to hear it — often— to keep our courage up, to inspire us to persevere, and to combat the plethora of lies that are constantly barraging our minds. He reminds us of the truth because He knows how quickly we forget. And when we forget this truth, things can go awry very quickly. Just as a child waking up in the middle of the night, believing her bad dream is true, can be filled with irrational fear and a sense of hopelessness, so also things can go awry very quickly if we are disconnected from God’s truth.
As Paul talks about in his letter to the Ephesians, there really is a bona fide battle going on in our hearts and minds all the time! It’s easy to get off-track from the abundant life and personal relationship God has planned for us. That is why we need a “helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17)— we need to be reminded (on a regular basis!) of the truth that we are saved by a mighty and capable Savior. And we need to strap on a “belt of truth” around our midsection (Ephesians 6:14) on a regular basis as well because we have an enemy who is constantly attempting to attack us wherever we might be vulnerable— and we need to have the truth about God and the truth of our own identity at the core of who we are.
In Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God” Bible Study, she reminds us that “When the core isn’t well supported, it’s unable to supply the level of strength you need for other body movements… [Likewise,] when you’re standing firmly on the truth of God as revealed in His Word— when His truth is at the core of your existence— strength flows into every other area of your life… Your firm confidence in His promises gives you not only a holy courage, but also the spiritual muscle to carry out whatever He calls you to do.” A steady diet of truth brings strength and stability to our lives.
When we buy into the lies and the “almost-but-not-quite” half-truths that are forever trying to distract and divert us, we get sidetracked from God’s good plan for our lives. God knows this and wants to help us avoid those rabbit trails of deception. That is why He tells us His truth— and repeats Himself over and over again. Just as He came looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:8-13) because He wanted to connect with them despite the fact that they had gone astray; just as He made a point to tell the ancient warrior-leader Joshua over and over again that Joshua was indeed the man for the job and that God was indeed with him every step of the way; just as God came in Isaiah 49, reassuring His kids that He does, in fact, see them and remember them and love them incessantly… so also this very same God proactively comes for us, too.
He genuinely wants us to live abundant, victorious, fruitful, free lives. He wants us to know who He is, He wants us to know all He has done for us in the past, He wants us to rest confidently in all He has promised, and He wants us to “lift up [our] eyes and look around… [and] know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:18, 23). He wants us to know Him. He wants to have a relationship with us.
So let’s be intentional about staying connected to Him and to all the truth He has spoken to us. Like a child calling out for their trustworthy, loving parent to come and comfort them, let’s be honest with God and let Him know we need His help. Let’s reach out our hands and take hold of what He’s telling us.
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As a starting point, here are a couple of ideas that tend to work for me to help me get realigned with God and with His truth (perhaps they will be helpful to you as well?):
- I hand write out verses that speak a particular truth that I need to hear that day. Sometimes I will write it on a 3×5 card and keep it near me throughout the day so that I can be reminded of it. Or I might create a digital image or take a picture of the verse in my Bible and use that image as the background on my phone for the day or week. I have several friends who follow a site called thefelicitybee.com wherein they download a daily scripture writing plan each month, working their way through God’s truth day by day.
- I will read a passage of scripture and ask myself “If this is true, what can I learn about God’s character, habits, and promises from this?” And then I simply write down in bulletform all I see. (Romans 8:37-39 is a great short one to start with.)
I pray you will be blessed and grow in your intimacy with God this week as you ponder how you, too, might be able to tune into God’s truth.
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Over the next several weeks, as I continue to dive into Isaiah, and as my church studies this book in depth during our weekend services, I am going to be sharing my thoughts here on the blog. I would love if you joined me. And feel free to listen to the solid teaching happening on the weekends if you feel so inclined. (Click here to listen to the sermon series.)
I look forward to hashing out this incredible ancient book with you.
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What about you?
How can you stay in touch with truth? Is there anything distracting you from or, even worse, blatantly lying to you about the truth of who God is and/or who you are? What can you do to distance yourself from those distractions or lies? How can you center yourself back onto truth?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.