Devotion: From Darkness to Joy
Isaiah 9:1-7 | July 6th, 2018
Anguish can come from being under oppression; perhaps creativity has been stifled or guilt from past mistakes and failures will not let someone have rest. Others experience matters of injustice that continually drain mental, emotional, and financial resources. People with these experiences long for relief that will give way to joy, that will remove weights and burdens of the heart.
When Judah anguished under threat of judgment, Isaiah announced that the gloom would lift. The Lord promises a great light where there is darkness and anguish. And we have confirmation that this promise was kept: when Christ began His public ministry in Capernaum, the Gospel of Matthew said that He fulfilled this prophecy (Matt. 4:13–14).
The very presence of Christ is the light of God to Naphtali and Zebulun. His preaching of repentance from sin and call to His kingdom is the revelation of the way to God. In doing so, He came as Abraham’s promised seed who will be a blessing to Israel and all nations. Gentiles can repent and look to Him for freedom from their spiritual darkness, and His people can place their hope in Him to expel the anguish of oppressive rule.
When life ahead of us seems so dark, as though we were sinking in the Slough of Despond of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, it is then that the child born to Israel, Jesus Christ our
Savior, offers to rule our lives with counsel that is beyond the wisdom of this world. He has divine power to reign in our lives. He is faithful and loving, offering us peace from anguish.
APPLY THE WORD
When fellow believers have prolonged periods of anguish, they might feel like a burden. Caregivers, too, might feel the weight of sustained physical, financial, and emotional drain. Ask the Lord to show you how you can help someone living with anguish for a long time. Pray for grace to walk with the person until Christ provides tangible relief.
PRAYER | SOMALIA
God is making use of dreams and visions to point Somalis to Christ. Others have made use of websites and YouTube channels to access Scripture and sermons in Somali. Pray with secret believers in Somalia as they live out their faith.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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