While reading today’s passages I could not stop the feeling of the hope–sheer, longing, and overwhelming hope. Isaiah’s prophecy shares a dark forewarning about what happens to the wicked, but the joy that comes from following the Lord is so great (Look at Isaiah 32: 16-18 specifically). These are promises of the Bible. Promises of peace.
Then while reading Psalm 103: 13 I was reminded of something Pastor Francis Chan says in Crazy Love, “My own love and desire for my kids’ love is so strong that it opened my eyes to how much God desires and loves us…I came to understand that my desire for my children is only a faint echo of God’s great love for me and for every person He made” (Chan 57). Chan goes on to quote Matthew 7:11. Perhaps you’re like me and childless. I’ll tell you what, I still love. I love the kids I work with, I love my pets, I love my siblings, and I am sure there are friends or people in your life that you love as well that you can relate this too.
So bottom line here? If you, a flawed human can love someone so much that sometimes your heart wants to burst when you think about them, then imagine how much a perfect God who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” loves you.
Lastly we come to 2 Timothy 4:17.
Pop quiz. True or False, I have a tattoo of this on my foot scripture.
True! Don Barnes called this a speck of dirt on my foot once, however I actually 2 Timothy 4:17 tattooed right on my foot so whenever I need the reminder (I found myself looking down in fear or shame a lot a few years ago) I would be reminded “That the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I could proclaim the Gospel. I was saved from the lion’s mouth.” That’s not the NIV version (which is linked above), but that’s the one I memorized. So when I read it now I think back to Paul, I think back to the moment I decided on this tattoo, and I think about how the Lord is standing with me always.
How can I not be filled with hope?
I pray this morning you are filled with the same kind of awe and wonder.
There is a righteous Kingdom waiting for you, God the Father loves you more than you can imagine, and He is always standing by your side–rescuing you from the lion’s mouth.