We’re not even half way through 2020 and this year has already been like no other. The year kicked off with the Australian bush fires, we’ve then launched into a global pandemic, and now another race-driven murder weighs heavy on our hearts. I have seen and heard many people wishing 2020 away, waiting for 2021 where they can ‘start over’. It’s interesting how people desperately need to feel comfortable in order to believe life is good and they are good. It’s interesting how much we struggle with discomfort and want to run from challenge. The Bible contradicts this notion encouraging us to in fact ‘consider it PURE JOY whenever you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2). Why? Because tough times produce something in us! Like the purification of a diamond that is only achieved by fire, so we too produce something invaluable under heat and pressure. There is fruit only after the pruning.
As crazy as it sounds, we shouldn’t wish the pressure and pruning away. As overwhelming as it is, let’s lean into what God is saying and doing amongst His people. Let’s suck the marrow out of the discomfort, so we can bear the fruit. Let’s embrace the heat, so we can produce a diamond.
2020 has been wake up call, after wake up call, after wake up call – if you’ve allowed it to be. The saddest thing would be to let this year pass, and have learnt or gained nothing. There are lessons for all of humanity here, and there are lessons for you personally here.
God is shedding light in the dark areas of our culture where the enemy has prospered. God is asking us to not turn away any longer. 2020 is an invitation. An invitation for all of us to humble ourselves and listen, to understand, to grow and to step into our divine calling and privilege of proclaiming freedom for the captives.
‘He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations…
…You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice….’ (Isaiah 61).
A daily devotion for a better way of living.