But you, Israel,my servant,
Jacob,whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham,my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:8-10) Imagine if you will being faithful in Jerusalem during the times of the kings, and all around you are falling in to idolatry. Then on the Horizon, Prophets call for the destruction of Jerusalem, and you witness it happen. What would you think if you were faithful? What would you think if you saw with your own eye the fall of God's Chosen people, not because God lapsed in His promises, because they lapsed in their promises to Him? I would, likely, be sorrowful and full of despair. I would likely see the destruction and, as the Psalmists did, ask "why." Yet something we see is that, in all of this, God is not panicked. In fact, even as He delivers punishments through prophets and nations, He also promises deliverance and restoration. He has a plan. Now, fast forward to the cross, and imagine yourself as one of Jesus' Apostles. Even though He preached on His death, Jesus was now dead. What did they do? They hid. And yet Jesus appeared to them all, and some 500 witnesses saw Him alive after His death. The point, church, is that we have a tendency to look at temporary circumstance and wonder if God knows or even cares. We wonder where His plan is. And then He surprises us beyond what we could ever hope for or imagine. When we look at the world around us, it's not much different than we read about in the Word. People are still self-seeking. There's still war and murder, famine and pestilence. Yet through all of it: nothing surprises God. He told us these things would be, and yet He said He would not leave nor forsake us. Corrie Ten Boom once said "There are no emergencies in heaven, only plans," and I have to agree with her assessment. Whatever you're going through today, don't trust in your physical predicament, to look to the issue at hand. Seek God. There's nothing too great for His power, and nothing too small for His care. He is not panicked. Lean against Him, and He will deliver you! 2 Timothy 1:3-14 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.