Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
The clouds pile on each other and the mud pools in the yard, there at the base of the hill. In the late afternoon, we gather around the wood stove, with the colored lights of the children’s tree twinkling in the background.
None of this homemade holiday carries enough wattage to brighten the darkened corners of the world, where suffering rages and parents bury babies, and territories are fought over for years without end.
The world looks awfully dark sometimes from my couch, with the latest headlines trickling steady across the screen. So much bad news. We watch and weep and pray.
More than anything, I just want to see Jesus here.
I’ve heard some say they can’t praise Him on black days, when the news spills one bloody story after the next, and while my head understands, my heart cries out praises–in spite of the bruising of grief. Because really, even as the clouds refuse to relent, it’s not how can we praise God in the dark, it’s more the question of how can we not?
Whatever the worst of the world, we have salvation–eternal life through our redeemer, Christ, who paid the price on our behalf. Whatever the horrors of the world, the price has already been paid.
This is what your sovereign Lord says, your God who defends His people: “See, I have taken out of your hand, the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again”. (Isaiah 51:22)
We don’t praise Him because of who we are, we praise Him because of who He is. He commands that in all things we offer thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Praise in the face of destruction comes from the deep pit of our weary souls. Whatever the blackness of night we’re staring into, He remains our light–the Redeemer who calls us by name.
There is no night so pitch-black that His light cannot illuminate. There is no pit so deep that our praise should not echo off the walls of the lowest canyons of life.
Bought with a price, He frees us from eternal separation. We are redeemed–set free. The terrors of this world cannot take that away. Governments topple, nations dissolve into chaos, poverty threatens to poison the hearts of it’s victims, children are murdered at the hands of the sick and demented, but in all this, Christ was, and is, and is to come.
Look to the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were hewn;
The LORD will surely comfort Zion and look with compassion on all her ruins.(Isaiah 51:1,3)
I sit more than arms length from so many whose December unfolds under a dark shadow. For some there will be presents purchased but not exchanged. There will be laundry washed, only to be tucked into a drawer in a now empty bedroom. We can’t turn a corner without the reminder of the incredible ache of living in this broken world.
Redemption has come. Freedom from eternal suffering has been given, paid in full for those who’d humbly receive.
Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. (Isaiah 49:13)
I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; (Isaiah 49:16)
Today, I’ve got one of these beautiful pillows from the DaySpring “Redeemed” collection to giveaway. To enter, simply answer this question below in the comments:
What does redemption look like in your life this Christmas season?
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